Howells hopes for the Kenilworth Road effect

BULLISH Wales U21 international Jake Howells believes Wrexham won’t fancy coming to Kenilworth Road tonight for the first leg of their play-off semi-final clash, writes Mark Wood.

Having rediscovered their form under new boss Paul Buckle the Luton left-back is in confident mood.

He said: “No team wants to come to Kenilworth Road in the play-offs, especially at the moment with the form we are in.

“Every team knows it’s going to be hard to play us.

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“I think the gaffer’s brought in a new freshness and everyone looks sharp.”

But he is aware progressing is in the lap of the gods after experiencing disappointment for the last two seasons.

Howells said: “We are in the play-offs and it’s not going to be an easy game.

“It’s a lottery as we found out the last few years.

“We played so well last year to get in there and were unlucky not to win the league but Crawley did well.

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“I’ve been gutted the last couple of years in the play-offs, in the semi-final and the final.

“This happens in football, but hopefully we do make it this year and I will be over the moon to see us go back up to the League.”

Howells is happy to be back playing at left-back having played in a wide variety of positions this season.

Howells continued: “I’m back at left-back.

“The new gaffer is playing me there which is no problem at all.

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“I’ve played there a lot of times, under Mick Harford in League Two.

“I’m not unused to it and loving playing at the moment because the team’s playing well.

“He (Buckle) hasn’t really said anything to be honest with you.

“I think he’s just kept a solid back four, because it’s kept clean sheets and he hasn’t changed it much.

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“Maybe if he needs to change it in the future he might consider me a bit further up the pitch but at the moment I’m happy and if he likes me there I’m happy with that.

“Defending, I’m trying to get better at it and the gaffer’s trying to help us more defensively, and we’ve kept five clean sheets.”

Howells admitted he would love to make it to the Wembley finale so he can lay missing out on the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final there to rest.

The 21-year-old added: “I was young at the time, 17 or 18. I was enjoying my football and everything was going really well.

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“If I get there and I get the chance to play at Wembley, not everyone gets to do it, it would be a dream.

“I played every round in the JPT then I obviously got left out in the final.

“Mick Harford always said to me when he left me out, one day you will play at Wembley.

“So maybe it’s meant to be and I would be over the moon to play there.

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“With the Luton fans too, they’ve been brilliant so to play there I would be so happy.

“The boys won the Johnstone’s Paint but if we could win there again, it would be amazing.”

To read a special four page play-off preview, see the Luton News/Dunstable Gazette on sale now, while for all the latest Luton Town FC news, reports, stats, player profiles, live match updates, prediction table and a complete fixture list, visit our Hatters Microsite.