Management opportunity was one Johnson could not turn down

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From goal-scorer on Saturday to in charge on Tuesday, Bradley Johnson said he was excited to get his first taste of football management when MK Dons take on Leicester City tomorrow.

With Dean Lewington in for hamstring surgery, the former Blackburn Rovers and Norwich City man will lead the side in the Carabao Cup clash at Stadium MK with Dons vying for a spot in the quarter finals of the Carabao Cup.

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As the hunt for a new head coach drags on behind-the-scenes, Johnson, who scored Dons’ opener in the 2-0 win over Portsmouth on Saturday, said he was the next logical choice after Lewington could no-longer delay his operation.

And though it is an opportunity which has come around much sooner than he anticipated, Johnson said a career in coaching and management has crossed his mind.

The 35-year-old said: “I want to get into coaching, I’ve done a bit of it. I've done my badges, my A Licence, it's something you start thinking about when you get to the latter part of your career.

“When I got asked, I was always going to take it and learn from the experience. I'm looking forward to seeing how it feels - you never know until you do it. But for now I'm just stepping in to help the club.

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“I'd like to be playing, but it's a different role for me and I'll have the same drive and determination.

“I'm looking forward to it. On a personal note I'm excited but it's a situation we find ourselves in. Skip has stepped in when needed, and I'm next in line. I'm more than happy to do it, but the main focus is on going into the game, putting in a good performance and hopefully getting into the next round.”

A good opportunity for Dons to progress

Bradley Johnson will take caretaker charge of MK Dons on Tuesday nightBradley Johnson will take caretaker charge of MK Dons on Tuesday night
Bradley Johnson will take caretaker charge of MK Dons on Tuesday night | jpi

Johnson is no stranger to what it takes to perform in the top flight, having spent four seasons at Norwich playing Premier League football on a regular basis.

Leicester head to Stadium MK having not played in more than a month due to the World Cup, and could play a nearly full-strength side for the Carabao Cup game ahead of their Premier League return on Boxing Day.

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Speaking ahead of the game, Johnson said these are the sorts of games all players should be looking to do well in.

He continued: “My message to the lads will be that these are the games you want to play in, you want to play against the best players and Leicester are one of the best teams in the Premier League.

“They've got some really good international players, and they've had a break so I'm sure they'll have a strong team. But we're not looking at it as a free-hit, we want to put a performance on and hopefully get a result. We'll go into it full of confidence.”

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