Justin tipped to have a bright future by his Luton rival

Hatters defender James Justin
Hatters defender James Justin

Hatters defender James Justin has been tipped to enjoy a bright future in the game by team-mate Stephen O’Donnell.

The 19-year has enjoyed a splendid first full campaign as a professional, making 38 appearances, scoring once and being named the Young Player of the Year at the club’s recenty awards night.

The fact he made his debut at left back against Aston Villa and looked comfortable, he’s certainly got a bright future.

Stephen O’Donnell

Justin’s breakthrough term has come at the expense of O’Donnell’s place in the side at times, with the Scottish defender dropping to the bench, as he said: “He has lots of attributes, the fact he made his debut at left back against Aston Villa and looked comfortable, he’s certainly got a bright future.

“Whether that’s here for him over the next few years, you never know, everyone’s future is difficult to map out.

“I know when I was at (Partick) Thistle, you think you’re going to push on, everything’s going to be rosy but it’s not always.

“You just need to make sure you recover when you have the bad performances and the bad games.

“Hopefully come 23/24, he’ll have plenty of games behind him and you just need to be on your toes in football.”

O’Donnell, who has lost his place to Justin in the team recently holds no grudges as knows exactly what it’s like to be in that position, as he did the same when a youngster in Scotland.

He continued: “He’s a young player, I was there once, trying to make my way.

“My first conversation with the right back who was playing at Thistle, was he said to me ‘better players have come and tried’, that was his wise words to me about taking his position. Thankfully I did it in about two months, so it was fine.

“I’ve probably played a part in JJ being able to push on as I’ve maybe not been as consistent or had the form I was hoping for at the start of the season.

“But there’s competition and I don’t think either of us are massively ahead of either one.

“He’s got the jersey now and I’m looking for the team to win the next few games, so sadly the negative for that is I probably won’t be back in.

“But I just want us to get promoted now.

“I’m not at the stage where either of us are that jealous. We’re just looking to try and help each other over the line and hopefully do enough to get into League One.”