Hatters chief reserves special praise for midfielder Lee

Hatters midfielder Olly Lee
Hatters midfielder Olly Lee
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Luton midfielder Olly Lee drew glowing praise from boss Nathan Jones after his performance in the 1-0 win over Blackpool yesterday.

They 25-year-old has been the subject of criticism from certain section of Hatters’ supporters in recent weeks, but was recalled to the starting line-up for the crunch match against one of Town’s fellow play-off contenders.

Lee responded with an excellent performance, always looking to get on the ball, displaying a fine array of passing, while he was noticeably more involved in the physical battle too, making a number of crucial tackles too.

Speaking afterwards, Jones said: "A big mention for Olly Lee as some of his passing was of a higher level in terms of his choices and how he got on the ball.

“His defensive work was much improved and that’s the thing he needs to work on, but his all round game, and what I want from a defensive midfield player, he gave me today.

“It was sublime at times with his passing and his trajectory of his passing, they get there earlier and give people an extra second. People switch play and lob it and by the time it gets there, people have closed them down, but he drills it.

"I’m very pleased with him today, I said to him at the end, he showed a pair, in terms of doing that as when your own fans have a go at you, and I’m testament to that, the Yeovil fans, they told me to retire far earlier than I did.

“So it’s always good to see one of your players show that kind of character, I like that.”

Lee was one of three changes that Jones made from the 3-1 defeat to Colchester, with Danny Hylton and James Justin back in too as Town switched to three at the back once more.

Jones continued: “We felt we were comfortable with that. The group I needed to put out, we prefer the diamond, we like playing the diamond, we haven’t been as fluent, so I wanted to get a little bit more impetus from wide areas and we got that.

“We got in some wonderful areas without picking anyone out. A little bit more composure, a little bit more cutting edge, maybe a little bit more violence about us, then we would have got the goal earlier, but what a way to win.

“Alan Sheehan was massive, as my back three was, full backs, Sods (Stephen O'Donnell) wasn’t as productive and kept going, showed a bravery again.

“So they’re a good group and I’m proud of my group and so should the supporters be. As Blackpool are flying, they’re one of the strongest sides in this league, player for player, they’ve got some firepower, and I thought we contained that, I really did.”

On Hylton, who had been struggling with a tight hamstring in the build-up, lasting 75 minutes before making way for Jack Marriott, Jones added: “He’s shown no reaction to that.

“He was treading water as he hasn’t trained in two weeks, it just shows that he isn’t superman, and I know he isn’t superman, but we treat him like that at times.

“He led the line for us, was a constant pest, could have got a goal as well, even at 55, 60, 65 per cent. So that will help him and he’ll be better for the weekend (against Barnet).”