Summer signing Campbell glad to be back for the Hatters

Midfielder gets first start since recovering from ligament damage

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 6:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 7:42 am
Allan Campbell receives a questionable booking from Premier League official Jonathan Moss on Saturday
Allan Campbell receives a questionable booking from Premier League official Jonathan Moss on Saturday

Hatters midfielder Allan Campbell was glad to finally be back in the Town starting XI for the first time since early September during the weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Stoke City.

The 23-year-old summer signing from Motherwell had begun five of Luton’s first six Championship games of the season, including the 2-2 draw at Blackburn Rovers on September 11.

However, at Ewood Park, he was the recipient of a horrific tackle from Darragh Lenihan which saw him suffer ligament damage and out of action for the next month.

Campbell has been back on the bench in recent weeks, but it wasn’t until Saturday, he actually gone on, as one of two changes Town made from the 3-1 win over Middlesbrough, replacing the suspended Henri Lansbury.

Speaking about his return, the former Scotland U21 international said: “I picked up a knock a month or two ago, and just did the rehab and the training.

"I was just itching to get back in playing, I got a chance and just hopefully put a good shift in and showed what I can do.

“It was a bit frustrating (the injury) as I was playing and just settling into the team, but you can’t dwell on it.

“It’s football, you can go out and get injured any time, so I just took the chance to come back, be as fit as I could be, make sure I was ready to get back in the team and when I was called upon, do well.

“You see the boys doing well, cheer them on from the stand, you just try to pick up things that they’re doing, try to implement that in your game.

“When I was out the boys put in some great performances so it’s just good to be back involved and trying to help the boys.”

Campbell’s performance in his first game back was enough to win the man of the match award from the supporters, but he admitted it was tainted slightly by the result, Luton falling to a second home defeat of the season, unable to reply to Jacob Brown’s 34th minute strike.

He was happy to show no ill effects from his time out though, continuing: “I’m fine, I’m a committed player, so as soon as I get on to the pitch I don’t bother about anything, I get stuck in, so whatever happened to my ankle happened, I’ll be all right.

It’s always difficult when you don’t win the game, so I’m a bit disappointed because you put so much into it as a team, you want to get something out of it.

“I’m just glad to be back in playing though and trying to do the best for the team.

“I was just trying to get pressure, stop them playing and just try to support the front as much as I could, tracking back as well, so it was just be as high as I can and start bits of play.”

On his first start in two months, boss Nathan Jones said: "I thought he was excellent, his energy, he worked, he pressed and showed what a good player he is.

"He’s taken that bit of time just to get the rhythm and get back in, but I thought he did well."

Having played his career exclusively in the Scottish Premier League prior to moving down south, on what the differences were between the two levels, he said: “There’s some quality players down here, it’s just a lot more physical and a lot more high intent.

“That probably suits me, that’s part and parcel of my game, so I’m enjoying it and it just looking forward to hopefully some more games this season.

“The down side was the injury, but it’s part and parcel of football.

"Other than that, the club and the staff have been brilliant with me, especially the players, so I’m settling in well, ready to go.”

Having been out for so long, with Town now having the weekend off for an international break, on whether he would rather play, Campbell added: “Sometimes it’s frustrating after a performance like that, you just want to get back out and get a win.

“On the other hand it’s good to let the body recover, make sure you do the right things as there’s a lot of games in the period, so you’ve just got to make sure you’re rested, recovered and ready to go for a big game coming up.”