Hatters boss Nathan Jones has urged midfielder Jordan Cook to show just how much he wants to succeed at Kenilworth Road.
The 27-year-old was given his first start of the season in the Carabao Cup exit to Ipswich Town last Tuesday night, playing 86 minutes of the 2-0 defeat.
I’ve played higher and felt comfortable, so it’s quite hard for me to say I’m not confident because I always feel I can do something for Luton.Jordan Cook
Speaking afterwards, Jones said: “I probably believe in Jordan more than he believes in himself and that’s the trouble, that’s the thing we need to eradicate, as I see something in him and I like him.
“He’s a fantastic footballer, it’s just at times he doesn’t seem like he wants to succeed as much as I want him to succeed.
“But I believe in him, that’s why I play him, that’s why he’s still here and I thought he contributed.”
Cook himself felt he does possess the ambition to succeed in his time with Luton, saying: “I always believe that I can play at this level, even higher.
“I’ve played higher and felt comfortable, so it’s quite hard for me to say I’m not confident because I always feel I can do something for Luton.
“Maybe he’s right, but all I can do is keep giving 100 per cent and hope people can see when I’m on the pitch, I run, make sure I’m closing down and make sure I do my best.”
Cook did concede that he has yet to hit his best form for the Hatters since arriving from Walsall over 12 months ago.
He continued: “For me, apart from my dad, I’d say I’m my biggest critic.
“First and foremost I want to play for the team so we win.
“I want to contribute as much as possible and last season for me was disappointing.
“Not just because we didn’t get promoted, on a personal level, I wanted to score more goals and get more assists.
“This season I’ve made myself really fit and am trying to put myself in the frame when needed and always give my all for Luton.”
Jones has always publicly backed his midfielder to come to show just what he is capable of, which has been music to Cook’s ears, as he said: “It’s always good to have a manager who believes in what you can do.
“He wouldn’t have bought me in if he didn’t think I could play at this level and help this team get promoted.
“Him, Harty (Paul Hart), Joaquin (Gomez), they all keep trying to push me, push me, push me.
“All I can do is keep trying my best and I thought I played all right (against Ipswich) and hopefully they can get some more performances out of me.”
Although Cook faces an even tougher challenge to break into the first team this season, he’s impressed by the summer additions at the club, adding: “If you’re a Luton fan, you can’t be anything but excited. We’ve got players who should be playing in higher levels but are here for a reason and that reason is promotion.
“Collectively we’re all in it together, we all want the same thing.”
You’ve got to be disappointed because you’re professional and want to play every single game, so you should be disappointed whenm ou dont play