Lee praised for not crumbling under the pressure
Town midfielder Olly Lee has been praised for not crumbling after receiving some stick from Hatters fans during last season by his dad, former England international Rob.
The 26-year-old came in for criticism from visiting supporters during the disappointing 2-1 defeat at Colchester United, but bounced back in style by scoring the winner in the 1-0 triumph at Barnet two weeks later.
Lee was impressed with the way his son handled himself in that situation too, saying: “I think every player goes through it at some stage, fans pick on somebody and fans are very fickle.
“He gives the ball away a couple of times, they pick on him, but what he did and how he reacted, I’ve seen so many players crumble under that, but he didn’t.
“I think Luton fans appreciated that and the last 10 games, they were singing his name and rightly so.
“He’s my son, but in my opinion he was Luton’s best player for the last 10 games when he got that little bit of stick.”
Lee also praised manager Nathan Jones for his public show of support and admitted he did offer some fatherly advice when Olly had been out of the squad in February.
He continued: “Nathan Jones stuck by him and backed him in the press which was great for him.
“He responded and I think now you know he’s a player that won’t shirk if he gets stick.
“You’re trying to play, trying to create things, you’re going to lose it sometimes, but have you got the courage to get back on it and play again?
“All I said to him was listen, when you’re back in, at Christmas time I think he was left out of a couple of squads, once you get back in, make sure no-one can take your shirt again and he did that.
“If I didn’t think he was progressing under Nathan Jones, I’d say so, but he says what a good coach he is and said the same thing to Elliot to try and get him into the club as well.”
Lee senior, who represented his country on 21 occasions, scoring twice, believes the former West Ham midfielder has managed to win the fans round as well now and that the addition of some steel to the midfield this term can make him an even better player.
He added: “The fans gave him a little bit of stick, but I think they realise now how he tries to play and what happens if you try and play that way.
“I could at 51 keep the ball in midfield. I could pass it backwards, I could pass it sideways.
“When you’re trying to get it forward, a few of them are going to go astray, it’s not an issue.
“One goes astray it’s how brave are you to recover and go again on the next ball and that’s the sort of player he is.
“I think Luton fans appreciate him now, they think ‘hang on’, and Nathan Jones has done a good job on him as well.
“I’m sure he’ll learn a lot off (Alan) McCormack, the way he plays, and I said to him, it will be a good thing you playing with him as really he’s gone from being an attacking midfielder to sitting in a defensive role.
“He can play, and he’s got to improve on his defensive, which he has done.
“He can play anywhere in the midfield, he’ll create chances.
“But if I thought he wasn’t progressing at Luton then I certainly wouldn’t have recommended Elliot to go there too.”