It can be a long and frustrating wait for a young player to get his chance, but Brandon Thomas-Asante is biding his time to get his first league start.
The 19-year-old has made 14 appearances in the league for MK Dons, but is yet to start a game.
On Saturday, he won a penalty to allow Chuks Aneke to score his second penalty, and manager Dan Micciche admitted the teenager is banging on the door for his chance - so surely it is only a matter of time before he walks out to the centre on a Saturday.
“I hope so!” he laughed. “The manager might be looking for a certain thing, so I’ve got to make sure my all-round game is improving and is at the level he wants.
“I’ve got my own targets too. I bring energy to a game but there’s more to it than that, I’ve got to make sure my quality is where it needs to be and be a threat with more than just my speed.
“I’m ready for whenever this start comes. It can be hard and frustrating, but since the manager has come in, he has put a lot of faith in me and I feel I owe him. Whenever it does come though, I’ll try my hardest to repay him.”
This Saturday offers Thomas-Asante the best chance of a start. Robbie Muirhead and Callum Brittain, two of Dons’ key midfielders recently, are away on international duty, and after a hat-trick for the U23s recently, the 19-year-old could finally be handed his debut against Blackpool.
He said: “It’ll be a massive thing for me, but it’s gradual. I’m ready when I’m called upon, but I’ve got to stay patient, and I don’t want to rush anything.
“If the start doesn’t come this week, I’ve got to be patient. I’ve got to make sure I’m doing what I need to so when the time does come, I can get on the scoresheet and do what I need to do.”
He is no stranger to finding the net though. After his exploits in the U23s, Thomas-Asante scored his first professional goal last season in the FA Cup against Spennymoor Town, while netting the opener earlier this season in the thrilling 4-3 win over Oxford United in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Despite winning the second penalty against Bury on Saturday, he allowed Chuks Aneke to roll home his second of the afternoon in the 2-1 win, but the following morning, Thomas-Asante admitted he was cursing himself.
He admitted: “On Sunday, I was shouting at myself ‘why didn’t I take the pen?!’ Obviously, Chuks is an important player for the team, and it was good for him to get the two goals. But hopefully next time I will get on the scoresheet. But however it comes, I don’t mind!
“Being on the scoresheet will be a massive thing for me.”