Gleeson ready to battle for Luton place

OVER-EAGER Hatter Dan Gleeson was delighted to be back in action on Tuesday night, writes Mark Wood.

Friday, 26th August 2011, 8:53 am

The dependable right-back was given over half an hour as a second half substitute in the 1-1 draw at Mansfield, meaning Town are still yet to win a league game at Field Mill.

Having hurt his ankle ligaments in pre-season and tried to come back too soon, Gleeson is confident this time it is right.

He said: “I was surprised to be back so early.

“It’s hard to sit in the stands as a player, no matter which level you play at. I probably didn’t do as much strength work as I should have.

“I’ve really had to strengthen my ankle and maybe came back too soon before – a bit too eager.”

Town’s defensive woes meant that boss Gary Brabin brought in three new defenders to bulk up his squad in the summer and Gleeson believes that’s given Luton greater strength-in-depth and the competition for places will drive them on.

He continued: “The gaffer’s brought in Curtis (Osano) and, in my opinion, to be fair, he has been one of our best players so far.

“All I can do is come on and try and stake my claim for a place in the team.

“I’ve only had a half hour but hopefully I can put a bit of pressure on those in the team.

“The one thing we have got is a lot of cover and I think we’ve got strength in depth.

“Some people look from the outside and say we’ve got a strong XI but not a squad. We could have come away from here with three points.

“I think it bodes well for the rest of the season. We’ve got a lot of strength in depth and when everyone is back fit the competition for places will be good for everyone.”

On the game itself and Town’s start to the season, Gleeson added: “Things didn’t go our way in the first half. We had a lot of possession and should have gone 1-0 up.

“They haven’t really had any good chances and scored from nothing.

“Thankfully in the end we got a goal and either side could have gone on and won it.

“It’s always nice not to be beaten and you go out to stay unbeaten for as long as possible.

“Mansfield is a difficult place to come and play and a lot of teams will come here and get beaten.

“We haven’t played anywhere near as well as we can.

“We weren’t really on our game but we’ve dug in. Will (Antwi) pulled a great header out of the bag and that’s two for him this season.”

Brabin was pleased to have Gleeson back, adding: “Dan Gleeson is one who rolled his ankle and has played a bit part.

“He has rolled over that ankle a couple of times and has only been back training a couple of days.

“Because of the injury situation we’ve had to throw him into the squad a little bit sooner

“We’ve had a lot of joy with Curtis on the left and I think he did well when he (Gleeson) came on.”