Full back James Bree has revealed how he needed to hear the ‘home truths’ from boss Nathan Jones which have seen him reach something like his best form for the Hatters since coming back from lockdown.
The on-loan Aston Villa defender arrived at Kenilworth Road for the season in August, signed by previous boss Graeme Jones.
He struggled to replicate the kind of displays that saw Villa shell out a ‘substantial fee’ fee to Barnsley for him back in January 2017, handing him a long-term deal too, particularly when being played out of position at left back.
However, since Jones has come in and the season restarted, Bree has been one of Town’s stand-out performers in the last three matches, saying: “The lockdown gave me a lot of time to look at what I’ve done at the start of the season and get a little bit fitter.
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"It’s completely different when you’re playing, you don’t have much time to work on your body, so I went away and worked really hard.
“With Nathan coming in, and believing in me, but telling me a few home truths that I think I needed to hear, and was waiting for someone to tell me really.
“I took it on board and I knew I was ready to come into the games anyway, but I think it’s just given me that extra push to come in and do well.”
Although Bree didn't start the first two games against Preston and Swansea, he came on at the Liberty Stadium in a more advanced role, before beginning the 1-1 draw with Leeds in defence.
He was back on the bench for the 5-0 defeat to Reading, but then has started Town’s last three games, showing some inspired form, winning the penalty for James Collins to score in last night's 1-1 draw with QPR.
On what Jones, himself a full back during his playing days, said to him, he said: “We’ve had little chats here and there.
"He’s spoken to me, given me little bits of advice and as you can tell with the improvement in my play and Pottsy’s (Dan Potts) doing really well at left back that I think we’ve both settled in really well since the lockdown, so you can tell that he’s doing really well with the both of us.
“I think for me, I just needed someone to come in and talk to me.
“With Graeme before, we’d spoken a lot and I think I could have done more for him.
“Obviously I was playing left back, I know I can play there, but it was tough for me at times.
“I’ve gone away and worked really hard in the eight to 10 weeks we’ve had off, so I knew I was in a good position to come back.
"Then I think with the gaffer coming in and telling me what he wanted me to work on, that’s given me a little goal, and pushed me forward.
“Then with me not starting the first couple of games, it lit a little fire in me.
"I wanted to get back in the team and I’ve done well since I’ve come back in.”
Playing at left back earlier in the campaign, Bree openly admitted to finding it tough, relishing the opportunity to resume his more natural role on the right hand side once more.
He said: “I’ve played there a couple of time before and I’ve done a job.
"It was tough playing there for a long period of time, once you've played right back, you get used to that side all your career.
"It’s just little tendencies you get used to, switching over to the left hand side was a bit different, but that’s football.”