Bradley Johnson reflects on Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie with Leicester City as a good experience for both the MK Dons squad and himself, personally.
Alongside David Martin, Johnson stepped up to lead the Dons for their Stadium MK clash with the Premier League Foxes and while the game ended in defeat, the midfielder is taking positives away from his first experience of management.
“We knew it would be a hard test because the quality Leicester have in their side is top drawer but we told the players to go out there with nothing to fear and to enjoy it,” Johnson told the media afterwards.
“Everyone in the changing room aspires to play at the top level, and there's no better way of testing yourself than in games like this. We knew they'd put out a strong side because they've not played in a while.
“We played some good football at times but ultimately we came up against a great side who never gave the ball away once! It was a good test, though, and I'm proud of them.”
On his personal experience of managing the game, Johnson commented: “I enjoyed every minute of it and, although, I want to play for as long as I can, it's something I'd love to do in the future.
“I’d like to think I took it in my stride. I didn't know what to do with myself sometimes, and I was trying to kick and head the ball from the side.
“I just wanted to do the best I could for the club - I'll do anything to help the club. Everyone has stepped up and played their part because we all want to help and if I'm asked to do it again I will.”
Johnson was stepping up in the absence of Dean Lewington, who underwent surgery on a hamstring injury on Tuesday morning.
Providing an update on the club captain, Johnson said: “We spoke to him before the game because he was out of the operation pretty early.
“He’s okay and it’s just about recovery time for him now. He's on crutches and a brace for a while now so I don't know when we'll see him next but I know he'll be in as soon as he can.”
Attention for the Dons now turns to the Boxing Day clash with Forest Green Rovers at Stadium MK – an important Sky Bet League One encounter for the Dons, who could move out of the bottom four with a win.
“We’re fully focused on the league now,” Johnson said. “We're at home on Boxing Day, and we have to back that Portsmouth win up.
“We can't put in an effort like we did at Fratton Park and not back it up at home. Everyone is looking forward to the game now.”
MK Dons return to Sky Bet League One action on Boxing Day when they face Forest Green Rovers in an important clash at Stadium MK.
Tickets are priced from £24 adults, £18 over-65s, £12 under-25s and £6 under-18s while under-12s and under-7s tickets are priced from £3. Upgrades are available to East Centre and Club Red. Ticket prices will increase by £2 on the day of the game.
To book tickets CLICK HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 01908 622933. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off from the Box Office.