Howells taking it all in his stride

HATTERS starlet Jake Howells doesn’t believe his time away with Wales U21s this week will have done his preparation for Tuesday’s opening Blue Square Bet Premier fixture against Forest Green Roverss any harm at all, writes Mark Wood.

The 20-year-old midfielder has well over 100 senior appearances to his name and believes his rigorous pre-season preparations have stood him in good stead so spending a few days away from his regular team-mates won’t be a problem.

Wales were due to play Hungary last night and Howells said: “I’ve worked hard in pre-season so I don’t think it will get in the way of anything.

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“I will come back and meet up with the boys and train as well.”

In fact Howells is supremely confident that the time away with Wales’ best young players can only benefit him and the Hatters in the long term.

He firmly believes Town can go one better and win automatic promotion this season after last term’s play-off final shoot-out defeat to AFC Wimbledon.

He said: “Everyone was gutted about it. As soon as it went to penalties it was 50/50 at the end of the day.

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“Hopefully we will push on and go one better. I think it makes everyone a bit stronger and wanting to do it more.

Promotion as champions is the aim at the end of the day. This year we are more determined.”