Hatters chief happy he has been able to give midfielder a chance to shine in the Premier League for Luton
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Having suffered a serious ankle ligament injury during pre-season when the Hatters were out in Germany, it saw the 30-year-old sidelined for the opening three months of the campaign, finally getting back into a match-day squad for the 1-1 draw against Liverpool. He then came on in the second half of the 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford on November 11 to make his top flight debut, but then could only manage to play just 62 minutes in total during Luton’s next seven matches.
His lack of football led to the pair having a chat about just how Clark could up his game time, with Edwards feeling it was important to get a player, who had performed on the big stage for the Town, scoring in the play-off final victory over Coventry City at Wembley, also holding his nerve in the shootout as well, into his Premier League starting XI. Following the conversation, the former Accrington and Shrewsbury midfielder earned his first top flight start as Luton drew 1-1 at Burnley on January 12, keeping his place for the 4-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion, denied a first goal by the offside flag.
He also made a third successive start in Saturday’s pulsating 4-4 draw at Newcastle United, and having given another excellent performance in the cauldron of St James’ Park, there is every chance he will stay in the team for this afternoon’s home clash against Sheffield United, making what would be a 122nd appearance for the club since arriving on a free in the summer of 2020. On his return to the side last month, Edwards said: “We’re asking different of Clicks than what we would have done last season as it’s not a three man midfield at the moment.
"It gives us someone with a real footballing intelligence, he can pick up some brilliant positions in some pockets of space, presses really well, has got endless energy and has performed really well. After he got his first game against United, around half an hour, he was frustrated that he couldn't get more game time as well. We had a good chat, and I think it was down to me to make sure I gave him minutes and down to him to perform as well. So I’m glad between us we've managed to find a way, he’s someone that’s been really consistent.”