Okuonghae determined to earn Hatters start

Defender Magnus Okuonghae believes he is now in contention for a place in Town’s starting line-up after coming through his first 90 minutes for almost a year on Tuesday night.

Magnus Okuonghae
Magnus Okuonghae

The 29-year-old centre half made his full Luton debut in the 2-1 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy second round defeat to Gillingham after recovering from a serious Achilles injury suffered at former club Colchester.

On his aims of displacing either Steve McNulty or Luke Wilkinson in the heart of Town’s defence, Okuonghae said: “Definitely. The first one’s the hardest.

“Mentally once you get over that barrier it’s the most important part, so yes, I’m available for selection now.

“We all want to play, we’ve all got the same goal which is to get promoted out of League Two.

“Whoever plays I’m sure will give their all, and whoever plays will definitely be good enough.”

Forcing his way into a team who has won four out of four in League Two won’t be easy though, something Okuonghae is well aware of, especially after the additions made by boss John Still during the summer.

He continued: “I think the gaffer put together a squad he feels can compete at the next level as well.

“Competition is healthy, it’s what drives the club on to get the results they have over the last four games.

“To go and beat teams the way we’ve been beating teams as of late and long may it continue.

“These things do take time as there’s been a lot of new players, a lot of changes, but the boys are bonding, and the side has been quite settled which helps.

“So we’re full of confidence going into Saturday.”

Opponents York have struggled this season, but did defeat League One Doncaster Rovers in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Tuesday night as Okuonghae added: “There’s no easy games but with the squad we’ve got and the confidence we’ve got at the minutes, then being at home on Saturday it gives us a chance.

“It was only a matter of time before the boys get going, I said four or five weeks ago that confidence wasn’t low and that with the squad we’ve got it was always going to be a matter of time before we got going and started picking up some results.

“It goes without saying we can win most of our home games and we’ll be looking to get another three points.”