Midfielder eyeing injury-free and successful end of season
Alex Lawless is aiming to win a place back in the Town side and help the club win a second successive promotion after coming through his first 45 minutes of football in two months in the development squad’s goalless draw with Brighton on Monday.
The 29-year-old midfielder has been restricted to just two starts in League 2 this term, having firstly been unavailable with a hamstring problem before then fracturing a bone in his foot in the 1-0 win over Northampton at the end of October.
And while he’s absolutely desperate to make an immediate return to the Town first team, the Welshman admits he knows he has to be patient this time round.
“There’s no doubt about it – this season has been highly frustrating,” Lawless told Hatters Player after being involved in Monday’s game. “But I’m happy to have completely 45 minutes and I enjoyed being back playing again.
“The key now is not to get too carried away. In the past that may have been the case. My personality is inclined to make it difficult for me to hold myself back. I’ve got to be sensible, look at the bigger picture and get things right.”
Despite missing the midfielder and his team-mates Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu, Paul Benson, Luke Guttridge for long periods this season, the Town remain firmly in the race for promotion in League 2.
But while Lawless acknowledges he must wait for his chance, it is the potential success of promotion which is driving the midfielder on in his recovery.
“As I’ve said it’s been a frustration season – but I’ve had disappointments before and I need to try and use them as best I can to turn it into a positive,” said Lawless. “I will use it as motivation to get into the team and start playing and help us win promotion again.”
Unlike previous seasons in the Conference, three automatic promotion places are up for grabs in League 2, and Lawless believes this Town squad have a great opportunity to become the first in the club’s history to record back-to-back promotions.
“In the pas there was massive pressure on us,” admits Lawless. “It was win the league or else and the only other way to win promotion was by going up through the Play-Offs.
“With three places available in this division it’s exciting to think we have a great chance of promotion. We’ve proven already in the first half of the season we’re capable of doing well and now it’s time for us to push on.
“There’s a core group of players who were here last season, but we all want to stay right up there and give ourselves the best possible chance of promotion again.”
The Town, unbeaten in their last four matches in League 2, face a tough test of their promotion credentials when they travel to seventh-placed Plymouth Argyle – who lie four points behind the Hatters – at the weekend.
And although Lawless would love to feature at Home Park, the midfielder is happy to bide his time.
“Obviously to be involved would be great,” he said. “But I’ve only just come off after 45 minutes so I need to take every day as it comes.
“We’ve got a big squad and the lads have been doing well so all I need to do is keep concentrating on building up my fitness. I need to then push the lads that are in the first team.
“Watching them for the past few months has built up a lot of motivation for me to play in front of the crowd again but I’ll be taking things slowly.”
WATCH THE INTERVIEW WITH ALEX IN FULL HERE ON PLAYER