Competition at the back is driving Town defender Burke on this season

Centre half looking to get a run in the side after playing last two matches

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 8:21 am
Reece Burke looks to find a team-mate during Saturday's 1-1 draw with Fulham
Reece Burke looks to find a team-mate during Saturday's 1-1 draw with Fulham

Luton defender Reece Burke insists the competition for places at the back this season is driving both him and his team-mates on in their battle to earn a regular place in the side.

Manager Nathan Jones has switched to a back three for the last few months now, with Tom Lockyer, Sonny Bradley and Kal Naismith starting 12 from 14 games recently.

However, an injury to Lockyer has see Burke in for the last two matches, the summer signing from Hull City impressing greatly in both fixtures, helping Town claim four points from six against Blackpool and Fulham.

With Lockyer now back in training, the fight for selection will intensify once more over the Christmas period, but it's what Burke is relishing, as he said: “It’s great competition, that’s what makes a good team.

“Everyone’s pushing each other on, and if you’re not playing, you can’t dwell on it, you’ve just got to keep doing the right things, keep training and hopefully get your chance.

“I’m enjoying playing at the minute and hopefully it carries on.

“I’ve just got to keep doing the right things, working hard, pushing on and hopefully I do get a run.”

Taking up his role on the right side of the three, with Bradley and Naismith alternating in the middle has given Burke a license to get forward at times, as he showed during the 1-1 draw against the Cottagers on Saturday, even overlapping James Bree to deliver some threatening crosses.

He added: “Playing the right side of the three, sometimes you get a little bit of freedom to step in which I quite enjoy doing.

“If there’s space for me I do like to drive forward to try and create things, try and create an overload on that right hand side.

“I got forward a few times, maybe a few balls in the box could have been better, but overall I thought I did well.”