Change of position working wonders for resurgent Lee

Olly Lee wheels away after opening the scoring on Saturday
Olly Lee wheels away after opening the scoring on Saturday

The clear and continuing improvement in Hatters midfielder Olly Lee has been hailed by Town boss Nathan Jones.

Lee, 26, struggled for first team football at times last season, finding himself left out of the match day squad for a month-long period.

He’s added lots to his game, he’s working harder, he’s put in a real shift now and he’s actually being productive.

Nathan Jones

However, he has since enjoyed a remarkable turnaround to his Town career since scoring the winner in a 1-0 triumph at Barnet and has continued to flourish since, winning the fans back onside again too.

This season, Lee has been pushed further forward due to the arrival of Alan McCormack to play at the base of the diamond, responding with two goals, already bettering his tally from the whole of last season.

Jones admitted it was sometime before Lee’s Hive heroics that he knew the former West Ham and Birmingham player would be part of his plans, as he said: “He keeps improving week in week out, he used to get a lot of stick, but he was key to the way I wanted to play.

“I remember, as I looked back at my notes and my diaries, there was a game here we played against Yeovil and we were kind of, I won’t say booed off, but we drew 1-1, and it was a strange atmosphere.

“I went home and I was absolutely delighted because that was the start of when we could build things and he was key to that.

“Now we’ve brought another one in (Alan McCormack), so we’ve looked to move him up as he has real quality and when he gets in the final third, he can pick a pass.

“So he’s added lots to his game, he’s working harder, he’s put in a real shift now and he’s actually being productive.

“He’s scoring goals, creates goals, keeps the ball for you, so he’s improving. There’s still a lot of work for him to do to be a proper footballer and he’s willing to do that, so I’m very, very pleased.”

Lee himself, who became a father for the first time last week and has been joined by his brother Elliot at Town this season, admitted that a sense of fulfilment has seen him somewhere back to his best now.

He said: “I’m enjoying my football at the minute, we’re playing with a lot of good players, I’ve got a lot of good friends here now and I’m really enjoying myself, so long may it continue.”

On his second goal of the season, firing home from close range against Colchester on Saturday, Lee, who had come close earlier, said: “A goal’s a goal, it doesn’t matter if it’s 30 yards or two yards, they all count.

“I thought it had gone in (the earlier chance), but the keeper’s quite a large keeper and he got a good hand to it.

“I was well pleased with the turn and then I should have finished it off, but it was a good save, thankfully I didn’t let it get to me and managed to put one in.

“I’m pleased to get one and hopefully there’s a few more to come. It was a good day at the office and we were pleased to bounce back from Barnet.”