Lee relishing his opportunity to level up in League One

Elliot Lee scores against Shrewsbury
Elliot Lee scores against Shrewsbury

Striker Elliot Lee is clearly revelling in being given the chance to level up this season with the Hatters.

The forward scored 10 goals in 32 games in League Two last term as Luton won promotion, although found himself starting just half of those matches.

It’s a big step up and a big challenge, there is a lot more football being played and with all due respect to League Two, it’s a very tough league.

Elliot Lee

This season, he has been a regular in the first XI, beginning every game, and now has two goals in his last two matches after scoring the winner in Saturday’s 3-2 defeat of Shrewsbury.

For Lee, who started life at West Ham, playing twice in the Premier League, it had been his first full campaign in the fourth tier of English football and he admitted it was something of an eye-opener.

He said: “I’m really enjoying League One.

“It’s a big step up and a big challenge, there is a lot more football being played and with all due respect to League Two, it’s a very tough league.

“It’s fighting every week, and we did our best to play football, but some games you get roped into a fight, get roped into a long ball game and it’s a tough league.

“I’m very happy we got out of it and now we’re in League One, I can drop off, I can run in behind I can link the play.”

That was evident during Saturday’s performance as, with Luton struggling to break down the Shrews, Lee, who has played at the point of the diamond this term until moving upfront, was often at the hub of things, trying to get Luton going.

He continued: “I thought the joy was coming when I was dropping off and linking the play with Collo (James Collins) and getting it wide.

“I’m happy to play any role for the team and it’s a great win for the boys.

“It’s difficult, when teams have two banks of four, there’s no space in behind, so I like to think I can drop off, I can create chances for the boys and hopefully open something up as that’s what it needs.

“It didn’t quite happen in the first half, just a few things didn’t come off. Then in the second half it all came together, we played really well, things started to come off and luckily we got the win.”

Apart from scoring the winner, Lee was heavily involved in the other goals, being brought down for Jorge Grant’s set-piece strike and also playing a part in Jack Stacey’s leveller.

Lee later won back possession and released Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu for the penalty missed by James Collins, but an impressed boss Nathan Jones is seeing a new side to the 23-year-old, adding: “That shows the desire the boy’s got these days and without being disrespectful to him, I’m not sure he would have seen that as part and part of his job a year ago.

“But now he’s everywhere, he’s dropping in, showing his quality in the final third.

“We bought him for this level and he’s showing that he’s more than at home at this level. He’s a constant threat, he’s involved in goals and assists and that’s what we want from our front players.”