Josh McEachran admitted he has had to be patient and bide his time to get game time for MK Dons this season
Sitting on the bench is the most frustrating part of being a footballer, but Josh McEachran said he has had to bide his time to get back into the side this season.
The 28-year-old has been an unused substitute for MK Dons seven times this season, and had to wait until the end of October before he was handed his first league start of the campaign in the 4-1 win over Crewe Alexandra.
It sparked a run of five consecutive games for the former Chelsea and Birmingham City midfielder, returning to the bench for last week’s trip to Sheffield Wednesday but returned to the starting 11 again on Saturday against Morecambe.
McEachran established himself in the side last season after signing for the club in March, but a bout of Covid-19 in the summer prevented him from having a pre-season campaign and it meant he as having to play catch-up with the rest of the team.
That time he spent on the side-lines though came as not surprise to him, especially with the start of the season Dons had.
“Everyone wants to be involved on the Saturday,” he said. “It's the most frustrating thing not to be involved and sat on the bench. But you need to bide your time. The group were flying at the start of the season, it was hard to get into the team but I understood that.
“The manager constantly talked to me about his decisions and I was fine with it but in the last two or three weeks, I've been playing a lot more football. Hopefully, I can stay in the team and play as much as possible.
“I made my first start against Crewe which we won 4-1 and I think I did alright. Against Cambridge, I stepped on a few levels and I was even better there. Burton went man-for-man so I couldn't really dictate play as much as I wanted to.
“Overall I think I've done alright this season, I think there is more to come but that’s from getting games and getting into my rhythm when I had a lot of games in a row. Hopefully I can do that now.”
Age is nothing but a number
At 28, McEachran is, incredibly, one of the elder statesmen in Dons’ squad. Playing alongside the likes of Matt O’Riley (21), David Kasumu (21) and Scott Twine (22) though, McEachran said age is proving to be nothing but a number at Stadium MK.
He said: “We’ve got a very young squad. I’m not young any more - me, Skip and Mo are probably the oldest ones in the squad!
“Some of the talent and potential in the squad is massive. I'm really enjoying playing in that midfield with the likes of Scott Twine, Matt O'Riley, David Kasumu - they all have great futures ahead of them. It's a great group of lads, everyone is grounded and humble.
“We haven't been together for a massive amount of time, even for the majority of us it has only been for six or seven months. There is still a lot to come from us.”