Norwich City: Bradley Johnson makes MK Dons managerial debut

Bradley Johnson’s first taste of management came quicker than he was expecting – but the former Norwich City midfielder enjoyed the experience.

The 35-year-old has been placed in caretaker charge of League One side MK Dons following Liam Manning’s dismissal earlier this month.

Johnson took the team for their Carabao Cup round of 16 clash against Premier League side Leicester City on Tuesday and saw his team fall to a 3-0 defeat after goals from Youri Tielemans, Ayoze Perez and Jamie Vardy.

He does hold aspirations of moving into the dugout once his career as a player has concluded – following in the footsteps of ex-City colleagues Russell Martin, Steve Morison and Gary O’Neil.

“I enjoyed it,” he told MK Dons’ channels after the game. “As a player, you come in and you know what you’re doing – you come in, get changed and just think about yourself. But we had the meeting before the game, and I was wondering whether I should go into the changing room or sit in the manager’s office!

“I didn’t know what to do with myself sometimes, but I enjoyed every minute of it. It’s something I’d love to do in the future.

“For me, trying to manage the game from the side was a good test. I want to play for as long as I can, but if I have to step in again, I’ll happily do it.

“I took it in my stride. I knew it wouldn’t be a long-term thing, so it was a case of getting together with Skip (Dean Lewington) and Dave (Martin), sorting the team. I wasn’t ringing around asking for advice, just talking to the lads, holding a meeting and standing out there on the side lines.

“It was tough at times, I was trying to kick and head the ball, and you get like that because it’s not in your control. It’s a bit like when a player is injured and you can’t help out, you feel helpless.”

Eastern Daily Press: Bradley Johnson is a popular figure at Norwich City.Bradley Johnson is a popular figure at Norwich City. (Image: PA Images)

The search for Manning’s replacement continues, but with no concrete reports as to who that could be, Johnson could find himself back in the dug out for their Boxing Day clash against Forest Green Rovers.

“We haven’t heard anything, we’re just taking it day-by-day and hoping it gets sorted soon,” he said when asked if there was any news of a potential head coach. Hopefully something gets sorted sooner rather than later, but I enjoyed it tonight.

“I’d like to be playing, but I want to do the best for the club, and if I’m asked to do it again I will.”

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