O’Donnell wants to make right back slot his own

Stephen O'Donnell on his return against Portsmouth
Stephen O'Donnell on his return against Portsmouth

Hatters defender Stephen O’Donnell is determined to keep answering the questions that have come his way since his move to Kenilworth Road.

The full back was one of a host of summer signings, making the move down south from Partick Thistle, but endured a difficult start to his Luton career, eventually substituted after a torrid hour against AFC Wimbledon in September.



That led to a hernia operation, before he struggled to win his place back under previous boss John Still, until being thrust in from the start for Monday’s goalless draw at Portsmouth.

O’Donnell said: “I came down here to cement the number two position, the right back role and I’ve not really managed to do that.

“I want to dominate games, get forward, get crosses in the box and it’s not really happened yet.

“Against Portsmouth I showed that I can defend which is something that’s been levelled at me my whole career and I always feel I try to give them answers when I get questioned.

“I think I managed to do that but hopefully in the final third I can show a bit more quality which was maybe lacking in the previous games.

“I want to get forward a bit more because that was my biggest attribute when I came down, I’ve not really managed to do that.

“There’s maybe a couple of reasons why, but my performances haven’t been good enough so hopefully I can kick on now.”

Once fully fit, O’Donnell, who had played just 10 times for Hatters this season, had to wait patiently for his chance as Reading defender Sean Long and Alex Lawless both featured instead.

However, he was delighted it came at Fratton Park in front of 18,000 fans, continuing: “It was a nice change, I’ve been in the cold for a good two months now.

“I’ve been patient and Sean’s (Long) been really good, but the two games (in three days), came at a good time for me to get a chance and thankfully Andy (Awford) gave me it.

“Playing in front of 18,000, that was the reason why I came down here, I wanted to experience different venues and that’s probably one of the best atmospheres I’ve played in.”

With Long’s loan ending at the end of this month, O’Donnell wants to make the full back position his own now, although he knows his immediate future rests in the hands of whoever takes over as manager.

He added: “Whatever happens regarding with the manager, I need to try and kick on.

“Someone might come in and not have you, that’s football, they might love you, fingers crossed it’s the latter and I can get my head down.

“Hopefully the new manager comes in and I continue to work hard, which I’ve done, and I hope no manager can level that at me, then see where it takes me.

“Hopefully that will be with Luton further up the league, that’s the aim, that’s why I came here.”