Hatters striker Zane Banton will be doing everything in his power to earn himself a new deal at Kenilworth Road.
The 19-year-old forward, who is out of contract in the summer, had looked to be on his way out of the club he joined around a decade ago, after yet another season where he has been out on loan to various clubs.
“You want to be looking as if you’re here and you fit in and you’re here to stay. So that’s what I’ve tried to do.”Zane Banton
But new boss Nathan Jones was quick to bring him back from the wilderness, and he came off the bench to make his Football League debut against Accrington at the weekend, before another cameo in the 1-0 win over Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday night.
It now looks like he could have a place in the Hatters’ squad going forward on merit too, as Banton said: “Definitely, that’s what I’m working towards, not just making my appearances on the pitch, but training every day is important too.
“I don’t think I’m the only player who’s up at the end of the season, so we’ve all got to keep working hard and we all want to work hard whether we’ve got a contract to the end of the season or we haven’t.
“That’s what the manager, one of his main philosophies is working, so working hard towards a contract for me, to make sure I’m here next season.”
Banton believes that the final five games of the campaign represent a great chance for him to further imprint himself in the manager’s plans, with Jones admitting he will be making changes to the playing personnel during the summer.
He continued: “Whether he signs people or not, if it’s going to add to the squad it adds to the squad.
“If not, there’s people like me sitting here wanting to play who are confident in themselves and other people are confident as well that they can do a job.”
The teenager has not looked out of place during his two sub appearances this week, far from it in fact, and admitted his efforts had been well received around the club.
Banton said: “I’ve enjoyed both games and got good feedback from the players, senior players and coaching staff as well which is good.
“As when you’re a young player, when you haven’t really made a lot of appearances you don’t want to be going out there and looking out of place.
“You want to be looking as if you’re here and you fit in and you’re here to stay. So that’s what I’ve tried to do and hopefully I’ve done that and showed that.”
Banton has also been the recipient of a great ovation from the Town crowd both times he has come on and stated it had definitely aided his performances.
He added: “I’ve heard it, it’s been quite loud, surprised me a bit as well.
“When I made my debut a couple of years ago in the Conference I got a good reception, but I didn’t know if I’d even still be remembered by a lot of the fans.
“It’s been good, been nice to hear, helped me when I’ve been on the pitch and made me even more confident.”