Luton striker Cameron Jerome felt that Town’s squad members didn’t take their opportunities to stake a first team claim during the Carabao Cup defeat at Stevenage on Tuesday night.
The 34-year-old was given his first start for the club as the Hatters, who made 10 changes from Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Peterborough United, were held to a 2-2 draw, eventually going out on penalties to the League Two side.
After Boro took the lead, summer signing Jerome levelled the scores with a maiden goal, strike-partner Admiral Muskwe then on target once the Hatters had fallen behind once more.
However, there were no further goals, with the hosts triumphing on spot-kicks, as Jerome said: “You can’t look at the changes.
“We’ve got real depth in our squad this year.
"That’s the whole aim of the recruitment for the club – real depth and competition for places – so it was a chance for a few boys to stake a claim.
“Ultimately I don’t think any of us have done enough to do that, but what I will say is, for one reason or another, some lads have been missing through illness and injury, and this was a good opportunity for them to get minutes.
“You’ve got to take some positives out of it.
“Fingers crossed nobody comes out of here with any injuries, as it’s been a stop-start pre-season for quite a few of the boys in the changing room.
“It’s not an excuse. It’s been a disruption and people have needed to get minutes, but it’s a harsh lesson.
"The feeling of disappointment is there, but we move on.”
Jerome, who is now playing for his 10th club after an 18-year career was thrilled to get off the mark for Town during his 72 minutes on the pitch.
He hopes that his maiden outing will now help to push striker Elijah Adebayo, who opened his account for the club during the weekend, even more, adding: “As forward players it’s nice to try and find a little bit of rhythm and obviously my first goal for the Hatters is nice.
“This group is a real tight-knit group, a real good group – probably one of the best changing rooms I’ve been in – so I don’t think there is an envy here whatsoever.
“It’s all healthy competition, which is good – what any football club should have.
“It’s all about people supporting each other, pushing each other and helping each other on a daily basis.
"That’s how you better yourself and push yourself.
“We are privileged people to play this game, and it’s all about competing for me, as high and for as long as possible.
“That’s always been my aim since I started out, and the older I get, I know I’m not going to be able to play week in, week out, but when I do get the opportunities, I’ve got to stake a claim for a push and to be in the manager’s thoughts.
“I know my role, what I’m here to do this year. I’m here to help the boys push on and contribute when needed.”