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Asafu-Adjaye ready to prove Hatters wrong

Former Luton defender Ed Asafu-Adjaye

Former Luton defender Ed Asafu-Adjaye

Former Town defender Ed Asafu-Adjaye is ready to show Hatters they made a mistake by letting him go in the summer, writes Mike Simmonds.

The 23-year-old made 82 appearances in five years at Kenilworth Road, but was released by boss Paul Buckle towards the end of last season.

He said: “On a personal note, if I can have a good game and show them what they’re missing out on, that would be good.

“I think my performances so far have shown that.

“I’ve made team of the week a couple of times and it’s nice to show them what they’re missing out on.

“Not in a derogatory way or a bad way, just to show them they made a mistake.

“(Leaving the club) would have been easier to accept if I had been playing regularly and hadn’t been playing well.

“But to be in and out and moved about with different management styles and managers wanting their own players, which is fair enough and part and parcel of football, then it would have been easier to swallow.”

Asafu-Adjaye is clearly relishing the switch to Gloucestershire as he has started every league game for Rovers this campaign.

He continued: “This season’s been very good for me, I’ve played every game and enjoyed every game.

“There’s a good bunch of lads, a good playing style and the gaffer has been great to me, very open and honest.

“I’m delighted to be playing consistently, no player wants anything more than to playing regular games and I’m no different.

“I’ve got that and it helps you as player, helps you improve and helps you get better at your own game.

“I’ve been playing left-back and right-back and made both positions my own.”

It is the first time that Asafu-Adjaye will have come up against Town since departing Kenilworth Road and he admits it will be slightly odd lining up to face the team he came through the ranks with.

He said: “It’s going to be different being on the opposition side after being at the club for so long, but I’m really looking forward to it.

“It will be good to see some of the old staff, Neils (Alan Neilson) and the boys that I played with again.

“Jake (Howells), I’ve known for a long while, (Alex) Lawless, Fleets (Stuart Fleetwood) and JJ (O’Donnell).

“It’s going to be different in a sense that I’m playing against opponents that I know, but apart from that, it’s another game, another 11 players that I’ve got to try and beat.”

With Town having already sold almost 900 of their 1,299 allocation for the all-ticket clash, including all of their seats, Asafu-Adjaye is guaranteed a warm reception from the travelling faithful.

He said: “The fans were always very good to me when I was at the club and I tried to show them my appreciation, I always made sure I gave them a clap.

“It was very nice to be respected and wanted by the fans.

“That was one of the hard things to leave as well, as I knew that I’d found a bunch of fans that really respected me.

“I’m expecting a good atmosphere, Luton’s fans have always been decent and the Forest Green fans have been good this season too.”

Ahead of the game, Rovers are just two points behind Luton in fifth place, although they have lost their last three league matches.

A 4-1 win at Dartford in the FA Cup on Tuesday night saw them return to winning ways though and Asafu-Adjaye believes promotion is definitely a genuine possibility this season.

He said: “I don’t think its been a surprise. We know what we’re capable of doing. We had a couple of bad results lately, but we’re still playing well and I think the only difference is we haven’t taken as many chances as we could have done.

“It was good to get the result like we did ahead of the league game, so we’re back on the winning side of things.

“We made some great signings in the summer and there were some great players already here too.

“Magno (Vieria) brings a lot to the club, he’s a very, very clever and creative player.

“James Norwood can turn a game around in a matter of seconds too, so it should be a good game.

“We’ve touched the top place once or twice already.

“The boys have started to believe if we play the way we want to play and the way we have been playing, there is no reason why if we want it enough, we couldn’t make it a reality, so I think it’s a viable possibility.”

Although not having watched many of Luton’s games this season, Asafu-Adjaye is expecting a tough clash with his former side winning five of their last six games. He added: “I did watch the Grimsby game on TV. It probably wasn’t one of the better ones to watch, so it will be interesting to see how they play.”

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