Lee never had any doubts he could make it at Luton after reaching milestone

Hatters midfielder Olly Lee always felt confident he would prove the doubters wrong after making his 100th appearance for the club on Saturday.

Thursday, 14th December 2017, 6:00 am
Hatters midfielder Olly Lee on his 100th appearance for Luton
Hatters midfielder Olly Lee on his 100th appearance for Luton

The 26-year-old freely admits he hasn’t had it all his own way since joining the club, signed by former boss John Still back in August 2015.

He had a tough time during the previous campaign, culminating in a difficult afternoon at Colchester United in March, but a winner against Barnet just two weeks later quickly went some way to repairing any bridges that had been broken with supporters.

He has now become a firm favourite among the Luton faithful, although despite undergoing some tough times, Lee didn’t ever think he wouldn’t make a success of his time at Kenilworth Road, saying: “No, I’ve always known what I’m capable of and thankfully the gaffer’s put his faith in me and I’ve shown what I’m about.

“It’s ups and downs but that’s football. I don’t look too much in the past, that doesn’t matter, it’s all about the future.”

Since that goal at Barnet, Lee has produced some excellent performances, particularly this term, including a jaw-dropping goal from his own half against Cambridge United recently.

That has given the popular midfielder yet another chant from the terraces now, as on the fans vocal support, he said: “That’s massive for me to be honest.

“Obviously you try and say it doesn’t matter and all that, but it’s nice to have the fans backing you.

“When you’ve got eight, nine, 10 thousand singing your name, there’s no better feeling.”

Lee was quick to praise manager Nathan Jones for the impact he has had on his career too, saying: He’s been massive for me.

“I’ve enjoyed my football under him. He comes in, he’s got a philosophy that I enjoy and that’s the way I like to play, so it’s suited me.

“It may have taken a while to get going but it’s nailed on down to the ground now and I really enjoy playing for him.”

When asked about the mental strength that Lee had to show in coming through those challenging times, Jones said: “He’s similar to Dan Potts if you like, they were ones that I inherited and as I said, Olly Lee was key to how we built a structure here.

“He’s playing slightly different to what we asked him now, but we’re delighted with him.

“He’s embraced that, he’s a great lad to have around, he works hard, he’s technically superb, so long may that continue.

“He should be proud of himself as he had to go through a very tough time, people got on his back about certain stuff.

“I gave him a structure and gave him certain guidance and then I kept faith with him, and he’s repaid me.

“So I’m proud that I kept faith in him, because that’s what you have to do when you’re a manager and you believe in something.

“Jordan Cook’s exactly the same, I believe in him, I see him every day and I believe in these people and they will repay us.

“Olly’s doing that now and he should be proud of himself.

“I’m proud of him, but in terms of being a player, you have to go through tough times.

“I had plenty of those in my time and you know deep down you can come through certain things.”