O’Donnell wants a ‘relentless’ display against Carlisle

Hatters defender Stephen O'Donnell scores against Solihull
Hatters defender Stephen O'Donnell scores against Solihull

Luton full back Stephen O’Donnell has urged his side to become a more ‘relentless’ side this term, particularly on home soil.

The Hatters host Carlisle United at Kenilworth Road this afternoon, with a record of four wins, three draws and two defeats in front of their own fans.

A big word at the start of the season was relentless and we need to get back to that.

Stephen O’Donnell

However, O’Donnell believes with crowds regularly over 7,500 in attendance, then it should be better, saying: “We’re in good shape, we’re a youthful team that has energy, has everything.

“We just need to get consistent in the cup and in the league and need to start winning most games, making Kenilworth Road a scary place to come where the fans are on top of you and we’re relentless.

“As a big word at the start of the season was relentless and we need to get back to that.”

O’Donnell was the ultimate game-changer that manager Nathan Jones speaks of against Solihull last weekend, entering the fray at half time to score twice to turn a 2-0 deficit around into a 6-2 victory.

He’s hoping it will be enough to now return to the starting line-up from the first whistle this afternoon.

O’Donnell said: “I had an impact on the game and hopefully that’s enough to play on Saturday, but I’ll have to wait and see.

“You can never be critical as a sub because you’re on the bench because the manager doesn’t think you’re good enough for that day and you just need the chance go on and prove him wrong hopefully.

“Hopefully I did that and the team played better in the second half. I’d like to say I was a part of that, but no matter who went in in the second half, I don’t think it would have been the same as the first half.

“JJ’s (James Justin) done very well with the games he’s been playing, I came on and came here as an attacking right back and not managed to do it.

“That’s what I came here as and I’d like to make sure that I work hard and put in performances that I can’t be dropped. Hopefully I get chance Saturday again, as all I want to do is do well.”

Striker Jack Marriott, who teed up O’Donnell for his first goal, had been left impressed by the defender’s impact off the bench.

He said: “He was superb when he came on. Unfortunately I think JJ took a knock so SODs has come on and he did do really well.

“To get two goals was very impressive from right back. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him (Johan) Cruyff in the box before and then put it in the bottom corner. Fair play to him, he was really good.”

O’Donnell was as surprised as everyone with Luton’s opening 45 minutes against their National League opponents, before hitting six after the break.

He now wants them to repeat that type of second half display against the Cumbrians, adding: “I don’t know why it happened.

“I wasn’t playing, I was watching and everyone can be a top player when you watch.

“When you’re actually on the pitch and getting the ball, seeing your options, seeing your decisions, and getting caught on it, losing it, whatever it is you’re doing wrong, it’s a different picture.

“It’s always nice to get on the scoresheet though. Goals are always important, no matter what time, so it’s to get a couple and bring my tally up to three. Hopefully I’ll kick on and get a few more.

“The second half was entertaining for the fans and, we should be doing that to every team, League Two teams and Conference teams.”