An overwhelming urge to seal a second successive promotion from League Two was the main reason behind defender Johnny Mullins’ move to Luton Town last week.
The 30-year-old recently captained Oxford United to second place in the table, as the club went up alongside Northampton Town and Bristol Rovers.
“It sort of added to the desire I’ve got to get promoted next season with Luton and make sure I’m in League One with Luton the following season.”Johnny Mullins
After playing 51 games in all competitions, Mullins had expected to be retained by the U’s to test himself in the third tier of English football.
However, that wasn’t the case, as the offer of a new deal at the Kassam Stadium never materialised, meaning he was looking for new employers come the end of the season, with Luton quick to pounce, handing Mullins a two year deal.
The former Rotherham and Mansfield centre back said: “I got the news from Oxford, had a little panic up in the evening and then set about it as I just wanted it done as soon as possible.
“It was bitterly disappointing, as I’d had assurances that come the end of the season I was going to be okay, contract wise, but that’s football and I’m not getting hung up on it.
“On the flip side it had to be the right club and thankfully for myself a club like Luton rung and there was no real thought process behind it, it was just how quickly can we get it done really.
“Things change really quickly in football and obviously after being promoted and playing so many games, I wanted to be part of that in League One.
“But it sort of added to the desire I’ve got to get promoted next season with Luton and make sure I’m in League One with Luton the following season.
“One of the things I said to myself and I have no qualms about it, once I got promoted to League One, I wanted to stay in League One.
“But now it’s about getting there again and staying there.
“Luton have got the fanbase, the infrastructure to go on again and carry on climbing the leagues.
“I’d love to be part of that, it’s not easy, but we’ll give it the best we can.”
Mullins confirmed some other clubs had made their intentions known, but once Hatters were in contact, that was the only place he had in mind.
He continued: “I’d had a few to be honest, but when Luton made the call, and I met the manager, as soon as I saw his outlay and his plans and obviously the size of the club, with the fanbase that it has, it wasn’t really much of a decision to be honest, Luton was the one for me.
“You only have to look at the fanbase and the future plans the club’s got, it’s definitely going places.
“With the football club having the run that they did and just missing out (on the play-offs) from when the gaffer came in, it shows that what the gaffer is doing, it was right really.
“This season I don’t think there’s any beating around the bush, we want to achieve promotion and that’s why I’ve come, because I want to be challenging at the top end of the table.
“Fingers crossed we can do that. There’s a lot of hard work, it’s a long eight or nine months, but I know we’re setting out with that in mind and that’s what we’re trying to do.”