WITH his side languishing in the relegation zone, Callum Brittain is drawing not only on last season’s success – but also the fact that he’s been here before.
And the 23-year-old knows what happens if performances don’t turn around, having been part of an MK Dons side that was sent crashing to League Two in 2018.
Brittain, who signed for the Reds this time last year, played 33 times and scored twice for the Dons but couldn’t turn their fortunes around.
“It’s not a nice place to be as a footballer,” he told the Chronicle. “When things aren’t going your way, it’s a real struggle and it hurts. When you go into that dressing room and you’re looking around and the players heads go down and everyone’s thinking what they could’ve done better, it’s not a nice place to be.
“But there’s experience in that dressing room, there’s quality in that dressing room, there’s players that can produce. I know that once things start clicking, once something happens where something falls for us, confidence comes back.”
Brittain has yet to score for the Reds and admits his finishing is a problem area he’s working on.
Against Millwall on Saturday, the wing-back had a great opportunity to most likely win the game in the 86th minute – three minutes before Murray Wallace netted the winner for the visitors.
Receiving the ball in space on the right, he was played into the box by Callum Styles but his effort was high and wide.
Brittain said: “I’m getting into good positions, and instead of concentrating on the ball I’ve just looked at goal and I’ve shanked it.
“It’s one thing getting in a good position but it’s another thing doing something with it. It’s something I need to get better on, and there’s a lot of things other players need to improve as well.
“I really need to start producing more in the final third, I know that myself, and I’ve been quite harsh on myself.
“Hopefully things can change for me in that sense.”
This season’s Reds have struggled in front of goal, only netting seven times – the joint-lowest total in the Championship.
“What we did last year is encouragement for anyone in that changing room, because we’ve got the majority of the players that were here last year,” said Brittain. “We know we’ve got the quality, we know we’ve got players that can produce, so we just need to really start playing together and form more of a relationship on the pitch.
“I feel like it’s a bit disconnected at the moment, a bit static when we’re in possession. Players don’t want the ball enough, we don’t want to score enough.
“It’s a frustrating time but we’re more than capable of turning things around. Football is a massive confidence sport. It’s a hard one to answer.
“We went 1-0 up against Forest and came out for the second half and looked a different team.
“If Devante scores (against Millwall), it’s a different game.
“We need those goals to go in.”