Mullins wants regular football again after Town exit

Former Hatter Johnny Mullins
Former Hatter Johnny Mullins

Defender Johnny Mullins is looking forward to playing regular first team football once more after his recent release from Luton Town.

The former Oxford United centre half saw his two year stay ended when his contract wasn’t renewed, and was quickly snapped up by League Two Cheltenham Town on a two-year deal.

I want to play football and if I wasn’t playing football then I would have probably been looking elsewhere.

Johnny Mullins

On not being offered a new contract by Hatters boss Nathan Jones, Mullins said: “I hadn’t really spoken too much about it, I wasn’t too sure, you never know in football, you can never foresee too much.

“I wanted to play football to be honest, I was at some stage and then I wasn’t, so it would have been a difficult one had it (contract) been offered.

“But ultimately I want to play football and if I wasn’t playing football then I would have probably been looking elsewhere.

“I’m not the sort that likes to let things linger, but I really enjoyed my time at Luton and I’m looking forward to a new challenge.”

After making 29 appearances in his first season, Mullins went on to play another 22 games for Luton last term, although started just 18 times, as a number of niggling injuries hampered his time at Kenilworth Road.

He continued: “The first season, I started well and then picked up a really unusual injury. We got to the end of it, then this season I got going and there was a couple more, but that’s football I guess, it’s part and parcel of it.

“You have to accept it and I enjoyed playing my part in a successful season.”

When Mullins was called upon during November to January, he helped the side to six clean sheets, scoring the winner against Morecambe and also having the captain’s armband for their FA Cup clash at Newcastle United.

He said: “I really enjoyed it, I had a nice little run earlier in the season, but we had a lot of players in every position who could come in if you were out and really kick the team on.

“I think ultimately we achieved what we did because of that, so it was nice to come in for that period and have a good run, but football changes quick, good and bad, so you’ve just got to carry on.

“I enjoyed that (Morecambe winner) and I managed to get my head on a few.

“It’s been good and been a real enjoyable season, a lot of hard work goes in behind the scenes and to get promoted at the end of the season is great.”

Mullins was able to celebrate Town’s success on the pitch too, as he came on at Carlisle United in the final moments with Luton earning the 1-1 draw that ensured they went up.

On the experience, he said: “We sort of knew on the bench that the Exeter game finished as it did, so the manager sent me on and everyone was asking me ‘what was going on?’

“It was nice to be on there when it happened, the crowd came down and it was a real nice time to celebrate together.

“I won’t say it was a quiet journey home either as it wasn’t, but a real good journey home, certainly the best journey I’ve had back from Carlisle without a shadow of a doubt.

“There were a few drinks drunk and a sing-a-long, so it was a good time.”

Mullins was enjoying his third promotion, having gone up with Rotherham and Oxford previously, and on achieving it once more, he added: “I’ve really enjoyed all the promotions, they don’t come along in football too often and you’re very lucky if they happen.

“There was no hidden bones about it, what we wanted to do, we set out our stall to do it and ultimately we did it.

“You have to take your hat off to (champions) Accrington who went on a unbelievable run, but the main aim was to get promoted and we did.”