A greater sense of ambition was the main reason that winger Scott Neilson opted for a move to Kenilworth Road rather than league leaders Grimsby Town, writes Mike Simmonds.
Neilson, 25, had been on loan at Blundell Park for the last three months, making 10 league appearances and scoring once, but with both Grimsby and Luton battling it out for his signature, he decided to settle in Bedfordshire. Hatters’ location of just 25 minutes from his house played a part too, but for Neilson, it came down to Town’s stronger intent on ending their extended stay in the Conference than Grimsby’s.
He said: “I spoke to Luton and I spoke to Grimsby and I just think Luton were more serious, they want it more to go up.
“Grimsby don’t seem like they are going to make it happen there. There were a few lads who are on loan which I think are going to go back and then I don’t know what’s going to happen.
“They’re ambitious here (Luton). The gaffer and chairman are serious about going up this year. They have said they are bringing in players in January and hopefully we can gel and we can do it.
“Since I knew Luton were interested, it’s been exciting and I’m chuffed to be here.
“It’s a massive club, too big to be in this league and we do really need to kick on and get out of this league now.”
Predominantly right footed, Neilson was used out on the left at Grimsby, but is relishing the chance to provide the supply line for the likes of new team-mates Jon Shaw, Andre Gray, Scott Rendell and Stuart Fleetwood.
He said: “I am a right midfielder, but play anywhere on the left and right. At Grimsby I had a lot of joy on the left, but I like to get crosses in on the right hand side. I’m very direct, I like to get at the full-back and get crosses in. There is pressure on me to get the ball in the box, that’s what we need to do. If they can get me out wide, I’m sure the quality is there to get the goals.”
Neilson’s debut ended in disappointment on Tuesday with Luton losing 3-1 to Woking, but other results were favourable with Wrexham and Forest Green Rovers the only winners in the top five.
The defeat saw Luton slip just a point further behind leaders Grimsby, with the gap now stretched to eight, although Town still have two games in hand.
That wasn’t a major concern for the winger though, who has been in this position before with Crawley, when they went on to win the league two seasons ago.
He said: “When I was at Crawley and we won the Conference, AFC Wimbledon were miles in front of us and we had games in hand.
“All you need to do is get a run of three or four games when you’re winning and you climb back up there anyway.”