Banton coming into contention for a first start

Zane Banton impressed against Dagenham on Tuesday
Zane Banton impressed against Dagenham on Tuesday
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Hatters youngster Zane Banton is edging ever closer to a first Football League start according to boss Nathan Jones.

The 19-year-old has come off the bench in both of Town’s last two matches, after going well over a year since last pulling on a Luton shirt beforehand, and impressed during his brief cameos.

Zane Banton

Zane Banton

On whether he could use him from the first whistle, Jones said: “He’s continued to do well and we’ll evaluate that as we go along.

“He’s new to the group in terms of everything, because he’s jumped right up a level from what he was when he went on loan.

“But we’ve seen something in him, he trains really, really well so we’re pleased to have him around.

“He has impacted when he’s come on and he has shown that he can handle it which is the main thing.

“If he keeps progressing, keeps going well in the next few days and weeks then he might get a start.”

Nathan Jones

“We’ll see, if he keeps progressing, keeps going well in the next few days and weeks then he might get a start.”

A first league start is something the striker himself is desperate to achieve as speaking after the 1-0 win over Dagenham, Banton said: “That’s what I’m looking forward to do, but I’m used to being patient with stuff, so if I have to be patient again, then I’ll be patient.

“I’m looking forward to starting, but if I’m starting or making appearances off the bench, I’m still happy if I’m affecting the game and doing well.”

An opening goal is clearly high up on Banton’s to-do list as well, as he continued: “I thought I had a chance (against Dagenham) when we made a break, I thought this is it, if this gets slid though I’m definitely going to score but it went out the other side.

“I’m looking forward to it when I do though.”

Banton appreciates that this weekend’s trip to Oxford would be an almighty difficult game to make his full Football League debut though, saying: “It will be tough, when I’ve been travelling round this season, it seems whatever team it is or whatever place it is, it’s always tough, no matter where or what their position is in the league.

“So I expect it to be the same again, but I’m just happy to be involved.”

And although not totally giving up on featuring in the League Two play-offs this term, the youngster is hoping Hatters can put together some form to take into the new campaign.

He added: “It’s been in reach then out of reach then in reach the last month, but we’ll keep pushing for it.

“Six points is not the worst scenario in the world, but we could have been in a better position.

“We’ve had chances, but six points, I wouldn’t say that’s impossible, it’s definitely not mathematically impossible, so we’ll definitely keep going until the end of the season and who knows?

“If we string a few results together, you never know where it will take us, but if not, we want a good finish to the end of the season.”