Luton defender Tom Lockyer has revealed just how frustrated he was to miss a large chunk of pre-season for the second term running after contracting a serious bout of Covid-19.
The 26-year-old had joined Town late on in their warm-up schedule last term, just five days before the Carabao Cup opener against Norwich City which saw it take him until late October to get his first start.
An ankle injury then ended his campaign in February, Lockyer restricted to just 23 appearances, but he returned to pre-season this time training fit and raring to go.
However, he contracted the virus which completely wiped him out, falling behind his team-mates once more in their preparation, as on how bout his symptoms were, Lockyer said: “I had Covid halfway through pre-season, I think the club kept it quite quiet, but I did miss quite a lot of pre-season again this year.
“I was sat at home on my deathbed, thinking ‘why me again?’
“I couldn’t move, I couldn’t do anything, I was so fatigued.
“I had a spin bike in my house and I was looking at it feeling disgusted thinking I can’t even get on it.
“I was determined not to let that happen to me again and as soon as I was back fit, it was a tough battle, a really tough battle, but I’m glad I’ve got over that now.”
Lockyer wasn’t the only one who suffered badly with the illness for Luton, as striker Danny Hylton had it, along with skipper Sonny Bradley who admitted it made him lose a stone in weight.
The pair are now back though, forming a centre half partnership in the 1-0 win over Hull City on Saturday, with Lockyer starting the last eight matches, Town keeping four clean sheets in that time.
He continued: “It’s not nice, it affects everyone differently. It’s horrible, no-one really knows how it’s going to affect them, with me, it was massive fatigue.
“I’d get out of bed and want to get back in straight away, with other people they were having coughs so you don’t really know how it will affect different people.
“I was determined not to let it affect me too much and set me back as there’s a real good squad here and if you fall too far behind, you’re going to get left behind, so I was determined not to let that happen.”
Luton had played with three centre halves for the last few matches, but with Kal Naismith suspended after picking up five bookings, then it meant Lockyer and Bradley were the two chosen to blunt the visitors’ attack.
He said: “I think whoever we play with at the back I feel comfortable with.
“Everyone works hard enough in training and plays with each other in training to know what’s going to go on if we do certain things, so it was comfortable.
“I think when they do go one up top having three centre halves sometimes feels a bit of a waste, so I think it was the right decision to have a four today and thoroughly enjoyed it, didn’t feel too threatened.”