Villa defender wants to regain his attacking mojo with Luton

James Bree in action against Cardiff on Tuesday night
James Bree in action against Cardiff on Tuesday night

Full back James Bree wants to regain his attacking verve once more during his loan spell with the Hatters this season.

The 21-year-old started life out with Barnsley, playing more than 50 times for the Tykes, joining Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee in 2017.

He has played 28 times for the Villains, heading to Ipswich Town last season, featuring in 13 games as the Tractor Boys were relegated from the Championship, winning just one fixture that Bree started.

With Luton looking to their full backs forward as much as possible to support their front-line, Bree has given two examples of his ability to hurt opposition teams in the last two matches.

First, it was his shot bundled over the line by James Collins at Barnsley on Saturday, and then another cross saw Cardiff's Junior Hoilett put through his own net in midweek.

Bree said: “Back when I was at Barnsley I was an attacking full back.

“I like to get forward and get on the ball, get crosses in the box.

“The past few years I’ve probably gone away from that more, been a more defensive one, and I want to get that side back into my game.”

Bree has started the last two league games at left back for the Hatters, after Dan Potts injured his groin.

With Martin Cranie also suffering a knock last week, then there might be a vacancy on the right once Potts is fit again, Bree hopes he can fill that position.

He continued: “It’s unfortunate what’s happened to Cranes.

“I think he’ll be okay, but if the chance come to play right back I’d love to take it and hopefully I’ve got a long stint in there for the rest of the season.”

Bree has also showcased his versatility for the Hatters already, playing centre half of his debut in their 3-1 win over Ipswich Town in the Carabao Cup.

He continued: “I’ve played right back more regularly, in my head I see myself as a right back, but I can play right back, centre back, left back, anywhere across the back four.

“I’m comfortable wherever I need to be played, even at left back, it’s a job I can do.

“I think I’ve been lucky that I’ve got the chances to play everywhere.

“From a young age I’ve played pretty much everywhere on the pitch, so I’m used to being a bit of utility man, I can play wherever I need to play.”

“I’m 21 now, but I feel like I’ve been around for ages, I made by debut at 16, so I’ve seen a lot.

“Although I’ve not played as many games over the last few years as I’d like to, but I’ve seen a lot of the game, I can count myself as experienced now.”

The youngster now has a chance to establish himself in the Championship during his time at Kenilworth Road this season.

With parent club Villa getting promoted to the Premier League, then Bree was desperate to get regular first team football under his belt, something which is already happening at Luton.

He said: “One thousand per cent, being at Ipswich last season, for the last six months of the season, I realised that I need to be playing football at this stage.

“Obviously I’ve always wanted to be playing football weekly, but once you get out of the rhythm of playing, you forget just what it’s like to be out there playing, the feeling that you get.

“I’m really motivated and I can’t wait to get a good full season underneath my belt.

“I think it’s going really well for myself so far, I’ve settled in pretty quickly.

“I’ve been looking at a few places this week, to get myself moved in so I’m out of the hotel, it can kick on from there.”

There had been some other options on deadline day, but on why he opted for Town, Bree added: “It did come about last minute.

“I had a few options, but nothing that was set in stone, couple of things fell by the wayside, then Luton popped up and it all came about pretty quickly.

“Once I spoke to the gaffer, I wanted to come here and wanted to get ready and train with the lads.

“I watched some of the games from last season when they got promoted from League One.

“I’d seen the squad, know a few of the lads here, and that they play some really good stuff.

“The two full backs who have gone on to the Premier League had a really good few seasons, they needed replacing and I think I’m in a good position to do that.”