Shea wants to force his way back in after 'difficult' start to the season with Town

James Shea dishes out instructions during last night's 4-0 defeat to Leicester City
James Shea dishes out instructions during last night's 4-0 defeat to Leicester City

Town goalkeeper James Shea is hoping to force his way back into the first team picture at Kenilworth Road after what he described as a 'difficult' start to the season.

The 28-year-old, who made 46 appearances in all competitions last term, including 41 as Luton won the League One title, has played second fiddle this term to summer signing Simon Sluga.

He has been restricted to just three Carabao Cup outings so far, the most recent one coming last night during the 4-0 third round defeat at home to Leicester City.

Although he was beaten four times by the high class Foxes, Shea produced a fine personal display to prevent Town going down by an even greater margin and now hopes he has given boss Graeme Jones a decision to make for Saturday's trip to Blackburn Rovers.

Shea said: "It’s been difficult.

"I knew they were going to bring another goalkeeper in, Simon’s come in, Simon’s been playing, all I can do is keep my head down and try to play well when we have games like this and when we’ve had friendly games, try and do well, and do well in training.

“I’ve just got to keep my head down, if get a chance, I get a chance and try and take it.

“The gaffer has said from day one, places up are up for grabs and he’ll do it on footballing matters.

“So all i can do is when I get a game, like tonight, try and do as well as I can.

"I’d like to think I’ve given him something to think about but we’ll wait and see.

“"My job is just to make saves, if I don’t do my job I'm not going to be here, so I’ve got to do my job, but we still lost 4-0."

After seeing the Hatters break their transfer record that had stood since 1989 when splashing out over £1m to bring in Croatian international Sluga from HNK Rijeka in the summer, Shea knew it would seriously hamper his chances of playing in the Championship.

However, it remains something he is desperate to do for the Hatters this term, saying: "Of course I do, I want to be here, I want to fight for the shirt, I want to play.

"It’s not just me, there’s four of us at the moment fighting for the shirt, Stechy (Marek Stech) and Harry (Isted) as well.

"We’re all pushing each other every day in training, we all want to fight, we get on really well, but we all want to play.

“It is what it is, you just get on with it, I enjoy competition, it pushes me every single day in training and I looked forward to it.

“I come in every single day knowing I want to be better, not just me, but everyone, that’s all I can do.”

When asked how Sluga has settled in amongst the Town goalkeeping quartet, Shea said: “He’s all right! His English is getting there, he's learned the good words.

"He’s got his own sense of humour, and the goalkeeping group, I'm not just saying it, we get on really well with each other, but best of friends, best of enemies.

"We all know what our jobs are, we're all fighting to play, but we'll all push each other and back each other, whoever's playing, 100 per cent.”

Although the big money addition has made some errors in his eight Championship appearances so far, notably the opening clash against Middlesbrough, Shea believes his team-mate is improving all the time at Kenilworth Road.

The former AFC Wimbledon stopper added: "That’s part and parcel of being a goalkeeper, you make mistakes, it’s how you bounce back.

"He's made some great saves in games and kept us in games.

"I’m sure he'll get better and better, my job is to keep pushing him as I want to play, so we're both fighting for it and it's up to the manager.”