After four loan spells away from Chelsea, Jordan Houghton says he has finally found a home at MK Dons.
The 23-year-old left Stamford Bridge this summer, got married and penned a deal with Dons, having spent two years on loan with Doncaster Rovers prior to that.
While he appreciated the opportunities the loan market afforded him in his early career, Houghton was eager to stability, which a move to Milton Keynes allowed him to have.
"It has been a different year for me," he said. "Every year, for me, has been different. It has been an enjoyable one, I've found my home at MK Dons, I'm pleased. Hopefully I can kick on now and show a bit more of what I can do and we can guide the team to promotion."
An almost ever-present under Paul Tisdale this season - missing only a few cup games - Houghton has proven to be an astute signing with strong showings in both defence and his preferred central midfield as Dons round out 2018 in second place in League 2.
Houghton said: "It's always hard when you've got a big turnaround of players and new staff coming in, but there is so much quality, I don't see why we shouldn't have done what we've done.
"It has been pleasing, but there are still a lot of things to improve – the players know that, the management staff know that. We're all on the same page and moving in the right direction."
Following two defeats and a gut-wrenching draw over the festive period so far, Dons head into 2019 with a home game against Cambridge United on New Year's Day. But while there may be a few hangovers in the stands at Stadium MK on Tuesday, Houghton says New Year's Eve is just another night in for footballers.
"It's the same as any other night," he added. "I'll have some dinner and chill out before the game.
"It's a massive game now for us and we need to win. It sets us up for the new year."