Senior relieved he wasn't exposed to League Two football too early
Hatters youngster Jack Senior believes his progression into the first team has been handled perfectly by boss Nathan Jones after making his Football League debut from the bench at Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.
The left back joined from Championship outfit Huddersfield Town back in August and caught the eye in his first outing, a Checkatrade Trophy tie with West Brom U23s in October.
Despite impressing throughout the competition, Senior was held back from League Two duties, as he adapted to life at Kenilworth Road, but was named amongst the substitutes at the weekend.
He was then thrust into action on the hour mark once Alan Sheehan got sent off, going on to play his part fully in the 2-1 triumph.
Senior said: “When I came here, I had no experience of playing men’s football, so although I didn’t play straight away, I wasn’t expected to because to be thrown in I could have been exposed.
“I didn’t want to put a timescale on it, I just wanted to take each day as it comes, as to be thrown in could have backfired.
“He (Jones) came out and said he might have played me at Blackpool, but for him to say it’s maybe not the right game, I think that’s in a way a confidence boost.
“As in a way he doesn’t want me to be exposed and say he did put me in and I didn’t play very well, you never know what can happen from then.
“But he’s managed not just me, everyone very well, he’s a great man manager and I really enjoy working with him.
“Even in training I’ve been learning and picking up little tips off the manager, the players, all the lads have been very helpful in helping me improve my game.
“I’ve put that into Checkatrade games and the second half today, but there’s still a long way to go in terms of my defending and getting forward and I’m just more than happy to be learning as I go along.”
After producing a fine performance against Chesterfield on Tuesday night, Town chief Jones had admitted to the press he would find it hard holding Senior back anymore.
Although aware of his manager’s comments, Senior didn’t let the talk cloud his thoughts prior to the Crewe clash.
He continued: “After the game on Tuesday there was little rumours here and there that I could have been playing, but I didn’t let that affect me in training or anything.
“It definitely gave me a boost in confidence but I didn’t want to start getting ahead of myself and I’ve never played in League Two before so I needed to prepare right and know what my job is when I come on or if I come on.
“Obviously I didn’t start the game, but in football you never know what’s going to happen, so I made sure I was right and prepared well.
“I’ve been working hard in training to be at the level to be ready to play, and there’s still a lot more to do, so I just got my head down and tried to do the best I can.
“When I came on, I tried my best to keep them out and we did in the end, so I was very pleased overall.”
Senior didn’t have a great deal of time to prepare himself for his first Football League appearance too, called into action once Sheehan was dismissed early in the second period.
Asked whether the thought of coming on had occurred once the red card was shown, Senior added: “It did cross my mind, but I didn’t want to start to get in a panic thinking what am I going to do if I came on.
“I just kept a calm head and then I was shouted over to get ready and it all came very quickly.
“That was probably a good way as you don’t have time to over-think it and think about certain situations, it just all came at once.
“Once I got my first touch of the ball, I just felt good and enjoyed it from there on in.”
“The way that we defended was enjoyable in a way, because everyone wanted to work for each other and I enjoyed it.”