Luton skipper welcomes the battle for his shirt
Hatters captain Scott Cuthbert is well aware he faces a fight on his hands to regain his place in the side at Kenilworth Road this term.
The 29-year-old missed the final six games of last season due to a hamstring injury, with then on-loan Glen Rea partnering Alan Sheehan in defence.
Luton chief Nathan Jones has added the Brighton youngster to his squad on a permanent basis this term, along with promotion winning captain Johnny Mullins signing from Oxford United too.
However, Cuthbert is relishing the battle ahead, saying: “That’s the way it should be as any good club has got three or four good players for the one position.
“So it’s a welcome competition and brings out the best in people. We saw Glen come in last year when I was injured, he was different class and fits into the young and hungry type, who wants to make a career for himself and play regularly probably in a higher division than this.
“So there’s competition all over and it’s what you want, if you want to be a good team.”
It’s not just in Cuthbert’s position that Jones has strengthened this term either, as he has delivered the stream-lined squad he promised.
Cuthbert has been impressed with how the new faces have settled in too, saying: “The manager’s decided he’s going to trim the squad and get a smaller squad to work with and we’ve got no complaints.
“So far, it appears to be working. It’s a good bunch we’ve got a good team spirit and we’re all looking forward to working hard.
“The gaffer has brought in real quality, players that know the league, some players that have maybe been at bigger clubs and maybe played a few games but want to get out there and be regulars.
“He’s brought in some senior lads that have got promoted out this league and competed for leagues for years so it’s a real competitive squad.
“It’s not the biggest compared to last year but it’s certainly got a lot of quality.”
Cuthbert is now back in contention himself after suffering a reoccurrence of his hamstring injury during pre-season, before playing 30 minutes in the 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday and then another hour against Woking in midweek.
He continued: “Personally it’s been a bit of a frustrating pre-season as it knocked me back for about two weeks.
“I thought we’d got to the bottom of it, then I came back for a few days and I just over stretched and it reoccurred.
“That was a set-back as I’d been running all through pre-season and feeling really good, so it’s disappointing when after three days, when you’re starting to find your feet, you pull up.
“But it’s one of those things, you get on with it and I’ve been working hard with Jared (Roberts-Smith) and Simon (Parsell).
“The injury feels good as their striker got the ball and knocked it down the line so that was the perfect test for me, and it seemed to hold out okay. Thankfully I’m back, feeling good and hopefully I can get some more minutes now.”