CALLUM Johnson says he is relishing the responsibility of being Accrington Stanley’s most experienced defender, at the tender age of 23.

With Mark Hughes out for the season with a calf injury, right back Johnson has played the most senior games out of all the back five - with over 100 under his belt.

It is not so long since he arrived fresh from Middlesbrough’s Under 23s and waiting for his break in the Stanley side.

Back then he looked to the likes of Hughes for guidance.

Now he is in the position of passing on the benefit of his own experience to date. But it is one he is comfortable, and confident, with.

“I was captain when I was in the younger ages at Middlesbrough and I was captain before I got scouted for Middlesbrough as well so I’ve always been that type of person who tries to lead and tries to help others, so hopefully I can bring that forward as well.

“I’ve played over 100 games – I think it’s about 115-120 games now – so it’s gone perfectly (since signing in January 2018 after a successful loan spell), obviously with the promotion as well.

“That was the main target, to play as many games as I could. I’ve done that and I think I’ve improved as a player. Hopefully the younger players will come in and do the same as I’ve done. There’s nothing like playing games in football, that’s the most important thing, and that’s what I’ve done.

“That’s the only way you can learn. You learn different things coming through the academy and in training as well, but when you’re playing in games – even when you’re watching from the bench as well – you’re learning.”

Johnson added: “Experience and knowledge in football is massive and I know I’m in the position where I’ve got to perform and got to help others perform.

“It’s a big pressure but it’s something that I enjoy.”