O’Donnell admits to struggles with wing back role

Hatters defender Stephen O'Donnell
Hatters defender Stephen O'Donnell

Hatters defender Stephen O’Donnell believes his recent struggle for form have come after Town switched formations to play with wing backs.

The 24-year-old found it tough going against Blackpool and Barnet after Luton boss Nathan Jones opted to change to a 3-5-2 system, losing his place to James Justin for the next five games.

I was asked to play wing back and I didn’t do it very well, so that’s what happens in football.

Stephen O’Donnell

The youngster went on to score his first goal in Hatters’ colours against Accrington and when asked if he felt he was better suited to a flat back four, O’Donnell said: “Massively, yes, I wouldn’t lie about that.

“I feel much more comfortable (as a full back), but you do the job you’re asked to do.

“I was asked to play wing back and I didn’t do it very well, so that’s what happens in football.

“Maybe when I started making some mistakes, I would say it was more just the change of shape that got to me a wee bit.

“That’s why it was nice to get the assist against Derby (in the reserve) to kind of put to bed that I can have end product and that’s something you can’t argue with.”

Despite being uncomfortable in the role, O’Donnell hasn’t once complained to Jones about being utilised there, adding: “I didn’t go in and say I don’t want to be playing there, I said I prefer right back, but that’s what happens.

“There’ll be people who go in and moan, about whether they’re playing, ‘I don’t want to play there,’ but I want to play, that’s the bottom line.

“I want to play and wherever that is I couldn’t care.

“I just want to try and do my best and that’s something I’ve not been able to do the last couple of weeks.

“I prefer right back, but the Blackpool game especially, my delivery wasn’t good enough. That’s something I think used to be good, so I don’t know why it’s not so good now.