Defender is determined to cement his Hatters place again

Hatters defender James Justin
Hatters defender James Justin

Town defender James Justin is determined to take the opportunity to finally establish himself in the Hatters side once more this season.

The right back has had a difficult campaign on a personal level so far, as he was restricted to just 10 appearances having been a first team regular last term, summer signing Jack Stacey taking his place.

I just knew to keep my head down and as soon as I get my chance to try and take it and play as well as I can for the team and for myself.

James Justin

However, with Stacy out for three games due to suspension, Justin was back in for the 2-0 win over Grimsby on Saturday and impressed on the right hand side of Luton’s back-line.

He said: “I was gutted for Jack getting the red card, but delighted inside getting my chance and then hopefully taking it in the next few games and trying to cement my place.

“I was confident in myself, in my ability that I could slot back in.

“Obviously Stace is doing really well, but as soon as I get my chance, I like to think that I’ll take it and play well just as well as him.

“It’s been a frustrating period for me, but I just knew to keep my head down and as soon as I get my chance to try and take it and play as well as I can for the team and for myself.

“We have more than two 11s that can adequately play in this league and be the best in this league as we’ve shown.”

Despite having just a bit part role at times this year, Justin, who saw Town reject a seven figure bid for his services from Championship side Nottingham Forest in the summer, hasn’t once asked to move away in a search for first team football.

He continued “I’ve never looked at that.

“We’ve not had too many (chats with boss Nathan Jones), because I’m not one to get too frustrated about not playing football as I’m so young.

“But he has reassured me here and there just to bide my time, when a suspension comes, or when an injury comes, then I’m back in.

“He said to me, as soon as the chances comes, he’ll put me in and if I do well, then I’ll stay in.”

Justin was pleased with the way he fitted into the side at right back too rather than the left which was only his other start against Cambridge this season, plus how he linked up with Olly Lee.

He said: “I’ve played left back quite a lot this season, more than right back, so playing in my natural position, I feel a little bit more comfortable.

“It was just getting the connection with Olly in front of me as we said to each other, lets try and get it down and play this game, see what we can do, try and open them up.

“They did it the other side as well, you saw from the first goal, it was nice play before the goal, so it’s what we can do.”

Meanwhile, Justin was quick to praise centre half Johnny Mullins too for his calming influence throughout and the support of the Town faithful too, adding: “Ever since I’ve started playing for the first team, ever since the Villa game, Mully has been key for me.

“Just talking me through games, his know-how, keeping my head level, it’s good having him alongside me.

“As I’m from here, it’s just delightful to hear it, the fans chant your name and stuff like that.

“The support that we’re receiving at the moment is incredible, I just hope that continues all the way through the season and hope that gets us that trophy.”