Mullins hopes to get his chance with the Hatters

Hatters defender Johnny Mullins
Hatters defender Johnny Mullins

Defender Johnny Mullins is hoping to become a regular fixture in Town’s back-line this term after making only his fourth league start of the campaign at Crewe on Saturday.

Mullins, who has been restricted to a watching brief from the bench for the majority of the season, was back in from the first whistle after captain Scott Cuthbert was ruled out until the new year with a groin injury.

I’m just looking forward, trying to be positive, and trying to stay in the team.

Johnny Mullins

The centre half is first in line to replace the skipper for the foreseeable future, and on his long-awaited chance now, he said: “It’s been a very frustrating period, but it’s nice to get a couple of games back-to-back and long may that continue.

“I can grow into it and I’m enjoying being back out there.

“You just want to be part and parcel of this team as it’s a great team and I’m really enjoying playing in it, so long may that continue.

“Scotty’s been excellent and the gaffer talks about it all the time, it’s a squad game and the lads that are not playing are testament to that.

“You’ve only got to look at Elliot (Lee), he’s been really frustrated and the squad that we have is excellent.

“So when you come in, you just want to try and keep that shirt and when you haven’t got it, get it.

“That only breeds good for the team and the club.”

Mullins also managed to complete 90 minutes in the league for just the second time this term, having picked up a number of niggling injuries during his other appearances.

He continued: “Dating back to last season it’s been quite a frustrating period, but touch wood, fingers crossed it’s behind me now.

“I’m just looking forward, trying to be positive, and trying to stay in the team.”

Team-mate and close friend Danny Hylton was pleased to see Mullins, who signed from Oxford at the same time as him, back in the side. He said: “I’m delighted for him as he’s my mate John.

“We room together and have a good laugh and joke, but there’s a great squad here.

“Johnny, he’d get in any other team in this league and he’d play regularly.

“He’s found himself out of the team, that’s through no fault of his own, it’s just that he got injured and two people came in and did really well.

“That can happen all over the pitch, so it’s not just John, it’s all the players on the bench and can happen to any one of us at any time. When you have the shirt, you’ve just got to try and keep it.”

Mullins will be pushed hard for the centre half spot by youngster Akin Famewo, who got another cameo in the victory on Saturday.

On the challenge, he added: “He trains every day as does Frankie (Musonda), they’re great young lads and they work really hard.

“They’re pushing us all the way, so you can’t take anything for granted in this team.

“It’s good to see them get a couple of appearances to add to his tally and his experience is growing all the time.”