Full back Jack James felt his hard work paid off by earning a first start for the Hatters during their 2-1 Checkatrade Trophy defeat at Peterborough United on Tuesday night.
The teenager, who had made one appearance previously, was in from the start at the ABAX Stadium, playing the full 90 minutes at left back.
Although the outcome wasn’t what he wanted, James was still thrilled to make his full debut, saying: “It meant a lot, I feel like I’ve worked hard to get my first start and I'm delighted, obviously I’m disappointed with the result, but hopefully there’s more to come.
“I thought first half we admit, we were nowhere near it really.
“We didn’t press with intensity, but we came out second half and did well.
“We just did what we had to do, pressed them, got high up the pitch and did what we didn’t do in the first half.
“We’ve come in 2-0 down and we’re chasing the game which is not what we want to be doing, as it’s not an easy place to come when you’re chasing the game.”
Matty Pearson’s goal got the visitors back into it as his cross was fumbled over the line by home keeper Conor O’Malley, as James knew they had to up their performance levels in the second period.
He continued: “We had to come out guns blazing as if we didn’t, it would have been four, five, six, and would have been a nasty night for a few of us.
“It’s a goal at the end of the day, a goal’s a goal, it got us back into the game and we were all over them for the rest of the second half.
“So we’ll take that as positive, but not good enough for the first half really.”
On the youngster’s first outing for the Hatters, boss Nathan Jones added: “I thought he was really tentative first half, second half, he was much, much better, he was on the front foot a little bit more.
“He played slightly out of position, but I thought he performed admirably and it wasn’t a bad full debt to be fair.
“It's to be expected, it’s a learning curve for him, as for him and Ready (Arthur Read) it’s another 90 minutes under their belts.”