Recalled Walker surprised to be straight into the fray

Recalled attacker Dan Walker admitted he was ‘surprised’ to be named on to the bench for new boss John Still’s first game in charge on Saturday, writes Mark Wood.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 5th March 2013, 1:00 pm

The 22-year-old came on as a 76th-minute substitute in Town’s 1-0 win at Stockport County and was pleased with his own showing.

He said: “Just because the new manager has come in as well, so everyone had started from afresh and everyone’s unaware of who’s going to be playing, so it was a shock.

“The starting 11 roughly had an idea through training, but the bench was decided an hour before kick-off so no-one really knew. There were five lads that missed out and I think anyone could have been on the bench.

“It’s good for me, I’ve gotten on the bench and come on and done relatively well today and hopefully I can carry that on.

“Obviously every player just wants to be involved, whether it’s in the starting line-up or getting a good run off the bench. For myself I just want to try and be involved as much as I can and hopefully help the team win games.”

And he’s hoping that Town’s form can rocket as they learn to play the ‘John Still way’.

He continued: “Each manager has a different way of playing so it’s just trying to do certain things, the way he wants to play. Everyone knows what he wants them to do, like turn it and put it in good areas.

“Not only that, but wide men know when to support, it’s just the whole team looks like it knows exactly what he wants. I’m not sure in previous times whether people have tried doing different things to what the manager asked, but it seems to have worked today and hopefully it will carry on.”

Welsh U21 international Jake Howells, who has suffered a crisis of confidence of late, starred on the day and Walker was delighted for him.

“It was good and he looked really good today,” said Walker. “Obviously I haven’t seen the few previous games because I’ve been on loan, but I’ve heard he’s been suffering a bit confidence-wise, but today him and I thought (Alex) Lawless was brilliant as well. Obviously the defence kept a clean sheet, but I thought he looked good and he deserved his goal today.”

And Walker is hoping to impose himself on Luton’s first team following his loan spell at Braintree.

He said: “You sort of look at your own game and see what you can improve on certain things. I know the team hasn’t been doing as well as people expect but we have got some very good players here. The frontline they’re all good players, the midfield, everyone. The whole team’s so strong so you’ve just got to deal with it and keep trying to work harder and harder in training and maybe get fitter and stronger. Just work on different aspects of your game to try and get yourself involved.”

Walker still boasts an impressive goals to minutes ratio this term and he knows he must keep it up for the good of the team.

He added: “I knew I’d scored a few but minutes-wise you don’t really think about it, you just see it as appearances. Obviously some appearances you’re coming off the bench, only five or 10 minutes here and there, and that counts as an appearance so it doesn’t look the best. Obviously my job is to score goals and create goals for the team, but to obviously work hard and get us the three points towards the end of games like that.”