Long aware he faces a battle with Lawless for right back berth

Sean Long
Sean Long

Hatters defender Sean Long is aware he faces a real battle with Alex Lawless for his place in the Luton side at Stevenage tomorrow.

The on-loan Reading right back could only make the bench for Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Barnet after racing back from Lithuania where he was playing for the Ireland U21s.

“Everyone wants to play, everyone wants to catch the eye of the manager and staff.”

Sean Long

However, Lawless took over at full back and impressed greatly against the Bees, as Long said: “Alex Lawless filled in at right back and he played very well, so the manager has a bit of problem now, so it’s up to him.

“The competition is good, Steve O’Donnell is coming back now, Alex has done very well, I played with him (against Dagenham), where he played in front me and I enjoyed playing with him.

“He’s a good player, but competition is good, you need it in football to make yourself a better player.

“I’ll relish the challenge of getting back in as everyone wants to play, everyone wants to catch the eye of the manager and staff.

“So if he’s doing well you’re saying ‘I need to do better’ and when you do get your chance, you need to take it.”

On Lawless, who has now made 182 appearances for Luton, being a genuine contender for the right back role now, boss John Still continued: “We’ve always been aware that Alex can play in that position.

“We’re aware he can play wide right, aware he can play wide left and aware he can play as a central midfield player.

“Does that do him any favours? Some people might say yes, some people might say now, me I’m a yes, I think it’s a fantastic thing to have.

“If you look at the games Alex has played when he’s been fit since I’ve been here, he’s played a lot of games, and his versatility I think is a plus, I really do.

“He will probably look at Saturday and think ‘I’ve done enough to play’, quite rightly he would think that has he.

“We’ll have to wait and see, but he should be thinking like that as his performance was first class.

“When he’s been properly fit, Alex has been a good player wherever he’s played, so I don’t really have any doubts with that.”