Luton midfielder Alan McCormack knows full well he has to take his opportunity in the first team in the absence of Glen Rea.
The utility player is out for the rest of the season after suffering cruciate ligament damage in the 2-0 win over Burton Albion before Christmas.
McCormack was back in the starting line-up for the first time in over three months for the 2-2 draw against Walsall , producing a fine performance in the holding role.
He kept his place on New Year’s Day as Barnsley were held 0-0, impressing once more, while he also caught the eye in Saturday’s goalless draw at Sheffield Wednesday.
On his recall to the side, McCormack said: “You look at Glen’s performances over the last few months, absolutely superb.
“He’s been our leader, he’s driven us, he’s been excellent on the ball, excellent off the ball and he’s set standards.
“So anyone coming into his position to play, that’s what you’ve got to meet.
“I’m a big believer in when you get a chance you’ve got to take it.
“There’s no point sitting there and feeling sorry for yourself, you’ve got to be ready to take it, and you’ve got to be ready to show up and help the lads out as you can’t let anyone down.
“We work too hard, we believe in each other and we’re a good bunch.
“I just wanted to make sure I put on a good performance for the boys first and foremost and set the standard Glen set, match that, if I can better it, it’s great for the team, but I didn’t want to let anyone down, that was the main thing.”
After finishing last campaign as a first team regular, McCormack had kept his place in League One this term.
However, he was dropped after the 3-1 defeat at Peterborough and admitted it had been hard sitting on the bench at times since.
McCormack continued: “At the start I’d say there was a little bit of frustration, but the performances were there to be seen.
“Glen deserves his place, and if you start taking people out when they’re playing really well, it doesn’t set a good example to anyone else.
“I don’t think the team has been changed very much over those four months as our performances have been that good.
“But the standard in training, we do top up games after training, the lads that are starting go off and do shape and you look at the top up and we’d win League Two, it is that good a standard from the boys.
“Their attitude, their work-rate, coming in on days off, that’s what we’ve got in this group. The boys want to push themselves, whether they’re playing, or not playing.
“If they’re not playing they want to push themselves harder than the boys who are playing, that wins you leagues, that gets you promoted, that gets you success in life, in football or off the pitch.
“We drive each other so as long as we continue with that attitude and keep believing, we will go a long way this year.”