ACCRINGTON Stanley midfielder Joe Pritchard believes putting himself under pressure will see him avoid having an ‘average career’.

The 23-year-old was on the books at Tottenham before suffering a knee injury which ruled him out for a year.

Now in his first full season as a Stanley player, he faces another big challenge in the shape of a Sean McConville sized hole.

The popular winger picked up a season ending injury against Rochdale on New Year’s Day and it looks like Stanley will be looking towards Pritchard to fill the void.

The former Bolton man is no stranger to pressure though and freely admits he puts himself under a lot of it, in order push himself to reach the heights he desires.

“Sean (McConville) picked up some brilliant form, he was scoring a lot of goals,” he said.

“When someone is in that form you want them playing all the time and when he picked up his injury and now he is out, all of the lads have to step up in to his position.

“I think I put a lot of pressure on myself because I feel like that if you are at the start of your career and you are in and around it for a few years it leads you into having an average career.

“But if you are the start of your career and you do really well. I think it just boosts you to another level that you can reach.

“So I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to work hard at the start to make the future more progressive.

“There is definitely pressure on it but good pressure, pressure that pushes you further and makes you work harder.”

The midfielder opened the scoring for Stanley in their penalty shoot-out success over Fleetwood in the Trophy. Now, he is hoping he can add more goals to his game in 2020.

“I only had one up until Christmas, it was a good goal but I would rather have had five or six smaller ones,” he said.

“The goal the other day was really to set up 2020 the best I could.

“I came on against Rochdale (on New Year’s Day) and I thought I played well in that game and to play in the Trophy and score, which had a big effect on the game, I feel like it has set me up to have a good year so hopefully its going well.

Following Stanley’s EFL Trophy victory, attention now switches back to the bread and butter of League One football.

John Coleman’s side travel to promotion chasing Ipswich Town, who have hit a sticky patch ever since they lost their unbeaten run at the Wham Stadium back in October. Pritchard is hoping for a similar display against the Suffolk side today - and is also looking to avenge defeats they suffer to teams in the first half of the season.

“You saw it first half of the season, We played Ipswich and we beat them 2-0 and I thought on that day we were by far the better team so hopefully we can repeat that again when we play them away,” he added.

“We lost against teams in the first half of the season and it is still in my mind now.

“I am looking forward to playing them so that we can get the points back off them. It is definitely something that is on your mind and it will be interesting to see what happens in the game.”