Rea delighted to be back in the first team frame for Luton

Glen Rea heads for goal against Crawley on Saturday
Glen Rea heads for goal against Crawley on Saturday

There’s no keeping the smile off Glen Rea’s face at the moment, with the Hatters’ utility player now becoming a firm fixture in the side once more.

After playing 50 times for the club last season, 46 of them from the opening whistle, Rea found himself out of the side at the beginning of the campaign.

It’s a massive squad, so everyone wants to play, but when you get your chance you’ve got to take it.

Glen Rea

New signing Alan McCormack was preferred as the holding midfielder, while Rea couldn’t dislodge either Alan Sheehan or Scott Cuthbert from the centre back berths either.

However, McCormack’s groin issues and a suspension to Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu has meant that Rea has got and taken his chance just in front of the back four, starting the last six games.

He’s starting to produce some excellent displays too, as on his recent form, the former Brighton player said: “You all know I love playing football, so when I’m in the team I’m buzzing.

“I just want to do well for the team, the team’s doing well, everyone’s pushing for places, competition’s rife, so it’s good.

“I love being back in the team and I’ll do everything I can for the team, I’m happy at the minute, hopefully I can keep going and keep helping the team out.

“I am pleased with how I’m doing at the minute, but I just want to keep playing, keep learning, keep getting better and keep going really.”

Boss Nathan Jones revealed how frustrated the 23-year-old found it being out of the side in the early part of the season, and Rea continued: “The competition here is unreal.

“It’s a massive squad, so everyone wants to play, but when you get your chance you’ve got to take it.”

Rea was in excellent form once more during Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Crawley Town, and felt it was a battling result considering the conditions.

He said: “It’s a hard fought point.

“We maybe could have won it, but think a point’s fair for both teams, so we’ll take the point and we’ll go again on Saturday.

“Especially when it’s this windy and the rain’s come at the end, so we’re happy with a point.

“They’re a good team, especially coming here and they set up to not let us score a goal and to be fair to them they did it, so it’s a good week for us and we’ll take the positive and move on from it.”

Although not known for his goalscoring prowess, netting just three times in his Luton career, his last coming at Yeovil in March, Rea came closer than most at the Checkatrade Stadium.

After one effort was blocked on the line, he then was left unmarked to power a downward header goalwards, only to see keeper Glen Morris produce a fine save.

The former Ireland U21 international added: “I should have scored, but we’ll move on from it.

“I was frustrated, but if I keep getting in the right positions then hopefully I’ll score.

“I can’t buy a goal at the minute, but hopefully they’ll come.”