Howells is Keane on a return for former favourite

Jake Howells
Jake Howells

Long-serving Hatter Jake Howells remains hopeful of one day lining up alongside former Town hero Keith Keane in a Luton shirt again.

The on-loan Crawley midfielder produced a fine display for the Red Devils during their 1-0 triumph at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday evening, his first return as a player, and was awarded a warm ovation by the sparse crowd.

Howells said: “I think it was a strange night for him. He was at the club for as long as I have been and I’m really close with him on and off the pitch.

“It was probably weird for him coming back to Kenilworth Road but I think he loved it at the same time.

“He’s always said to me that one day he wants to come back here so you never know what might happen.”

Coincidentally Howells leapfrogged Keane as the game was his 286th outing for the Hatters, one more than his close friend, moving him up to 24th outright in the club’s all-time appearance list.

The former Welsh U21 international continued: “I actually did know that before the game.

“I dropped him a text message to say I was about to go one more and hope he didn’t mind, but we had a good laugh and joke about it.

“It was nice to see him and it’s great to see him doing well at Crawley.”

On the game itself, Howells felt Luton acquitted themselves well, but was disappointed to miss out on a potential trip to Wembley as he had done back in 2009, when Luton won the competition.

He added: “It could have been different.

“It seemed to be one of those things – we hit the bar, we hit the post and we had a few chances but it wasn’t to be.

“On another day we get a couple of goals and win the game.

“They’re a good side doing well in League One and everyone’s happy about how we held them and limited their chances and also had our own chances.

“We’re gutted to concede a sloppy goal.

“That’s the only downside – he ran a long way with the ball and noone’s got anywhere near him, but that happens in football and they got the rub of the green with the rebound.

“Every club wants to do well in this competition, especially for me as I missed the final when we won it.

“But it wasn’t to be and hopefully next year we’ll do a bit better.”

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