'Critical' Town defender Bell insists he will get even better for the Hatters

Full back confident there is plenty more to come after impressive start

By Mike Simmonds
Thursday, 19th August 2021, 9:36 am
Updated Thursday, 19th August 2021, 9:38 am
Town defender Amari'i Bell
Town defender Amari'i Bell

Town full back Amari’i Bell insists there is plenty more to come from him this term despite what has already been an impressive start to the campaign.

The 27-year-old summer signing from Blackburn Rovers had missed most of pre-season due to his involvement in the Gold Cup for Jamaica, only returning in the week before the Championship kicked off.

With Dan Potts injured during the final friendly, Bell was then thrust into the opening encounter with Peterborough United despite having had limited involvement with his new team-mates beforehand.

However, he still produced an eye-catching performance on the left hand side of defence, eager to get up in support of his attackers, while remaining solid at the back too as the Posh were swept aside 3-0.

Following the weekend’s 3-2 loss at West Bromwich Albion, Bell then netted the only goal of the game on Tuesday night in the 1-0 win at Barnsley, in what was another fine individual showing for the defender.

Speaking afterwards, he said: “It’s been difficult really as pre-season, it was a new team for me.

"I didn’t really get the tactics and the information that the rest of the boys got, so you could say it’s halted me a little bit.

"But now I’m getting the best of everything, so it’s good being here.

“There’s definitely more to come, I’m very critical of myself, so I know there’s a lot more to come.

"I’m hoping in the next few games, I’m hoping I can show the fans a bit more about me.

“I’m really enjoying it too.

"We’re winning games and we want to continue that, so as long as I can help the team in any way, I’m pleased.”

Going into the clash with the Tykes on the back of a poor defensive display from the Hatters in the opening 70 minutes at the Hawthorns, Bell knew how important it was to try and preserve the visitors' clean sheet.

He continued: “We knew that last game we weren’t at the races and we had to show that we were going to come back and we definitely did, so it’s going to give us some good momentum into the next game.

“We were disappointed ourselves, we know we can definitely play better.

"Today was always about getting the result, for ourselves, for Mick (Harford), for the club, we’ve got the win and everyone's happy.

“We pride ourselves on our goal difference as well.

"As long as we’re getting clean sheets and winning games, then that’s going to put us in a good position.”

With the Tykes dominating possession, Town’s defence needed to be on their toes throughout, with @clubgame_app revealing they made 31 successful tackles, more than any other winning team managed in a single game during the entire 2020/21 season.

Town’s defence has been shorn of centre halves by injury, with Sonny Bradley and Reece Burke still yet to feature this term, while Potts is still out, meaning Tom Lockyer had to play despite not being fully fit.

Bell added: “That’s the good thing about the squad, everyone's ready to come and played and we showed that.

"It’s a bit of a makeshift defence, but I’m happy as we’re getting wins.

“Defensively we need to do that, if you want to win games, you’ll be in some games where you have to just put your body on the line and I think all the boys did that and it was great.

“Barnsley are a good side, it starts from the front, and the boys did well.

"It was massive, we needed them and they did a great job.”