Rea earns praise for stepping into holding role

Hatters defender Glen Rea in action
Hatters defender Glen Rea in action

Hatters defender Glen Rea has been praised by boss Nathan Jones for his part in Town’s recent good form.

The 23-year-old had been restricted to four starts in the league this term, with Scott Cuthbert and Alan Sheehan forming a solid partnership at centre half.

Although Rea could also operate as a defensive midfielder too, he found his route into the side blocked by Alan McCormack and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu too.

However, with McCormack injured and Mpanzu banned, Rea was back in the holding role for the games against Morecambe, Newport and Accrington, producing his best displays of the season.

Jones said: “I know what I’m going to get from Glen, that’s why Glen’s at the football club.

“He’s a centre half that can defend well, that’s aggressive, not the biggest, but when he plays at defensive midfield, I know what I’m going to get from him.

“I know what I’m not going to get, but I also know what I’m going to get, so we’ve used Glen in a number of ways and I thought he’s been excellent in the recent games.

“He’s starting to discover a bit of form and we’re pleased with that as we want that competition.

“We have some real good defensive midfield players here, Alan McCormack, Glen Rea, Olly Lee can do it, though he’s more of a ball playing one and Pelly Ruddock it’s a position that he feels very at home in.

“So we have some good options in that area, but I know what I get from Glen and when you need a warrior then I usually play him.”

Although McCormack is now fit, and Mpanzu available to face Stevenage this weekend, Jones hadn’t ever thought about rushing the former back to the first team, adding: “We wouldn’t do that anyway, we think about long term and longevity, and about a season.

“He’s (Rea) been excellent and I just know I can trust him.

“I don’t want him to do anything he’s not capable of doing, but what he is capable of doing is being a very strong defensive midfield player and he does that very well.”