Justin ready to battle former Royals youngster for right back berth

Town full back James Justin
Town full back James Justin

Hatters defender James Justin will relish the battle for his position in Town's defence this term.

The youngster is expected to start this campaign as first choice full back after a superb debut season in which he usurped Stephen O’Donnell and went on to played 39 times.

His form was enough to attract the interest of Premier League Leicester City and earned him a call-up to the England U19 training squad too.

However, Justin will now face competition from former Reading defender Jack Stacey who signed permanently last week and impressed during his loan spell at Exeter City last term.

Speaking before the deal was announced, Justin welcomed the contest, saying: “Hopefully I can hold it (right back position) down for all of the season and whoever he (Nathan Jones) brings in is of a good standard so they can push me up and take us as far as we can to take the team to reach that final goal.

“Because not one player is going to play every match of the season, it’s about a squad in the end.”

Although at 21, Stacey isn’t experienced in terms of his age, he has played almost a full season at League Two level with the Grecians.

Boss Jones has also added Andrew Shinne, James Collins, Alan McCormack and Marek Stech, four players who will clearly lift Town’s young average age of the side, and Justin believes that is something the squad will benefit from.

He said: “Some people thought that was one thing we were lacking last season and we’ve got no excuses now with the guys that have come in.

“I hope they can add to our squad what we need and mentor the young ones like myself.”

Meanwhile, Justin has now set his sights on missing out on the play-offs this time to go up automatically, as he added: “That’s the main goal.

“Every season in League Two, we’ve been setting our sights higher and higher and this is the final straw of what we have to do this season now.”