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Harper on the Hatters: Under-rated Luton man is key to survival hopes

I admit my faith in Luton Town surviving in the Championship was beginning to wane last month.

There was defeat after defeat, and that light at the end of the tunnel everyone always speaks about just didn’t seem to be there.

I am not far from changing my mind but I’ve not given up hope yet, because I’ve seen positive signs over the last three matches that have me believing we’re not done just yet.

If I think back to earlier in the season when Luton boss Graeme Jones rightly said that we needed Izzy Brown to survive, it should come as no surprise that we have delivered two better performances since his return from injury.

However we shouldn’t forget the role, and indeed the difference, that Glen Rea has made to the Hatters side – and if we stay up make no mistake that he will have played a huge part.

During his injury, I had the pleasure of chatting to Glen quite often, whether in the stands at various away games, at Luton Town Supporters’ Trust functions or when I have been at the training ground, and the one thing that shone through each time is his love for this club.

I last spoke to him shortly after his loan spell at Woking was over and he was chomping at the bit to be involved, and has displayed that with his performances since coming into the side at Bournemouth and then latterly Nottingham Forest.

Not only is he extremely effective in the holding midfield role, breaking up attacks and protecting the defence, but what he actually does is releases Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu up the pitch to good effect, as we saw with the equaliser against Derby.

Pelly has the ability to win us matches in attacking areas, while the leadership skills, composure and measured play of Rea, who will only get better the more minutes he gets under his belt, is just what we need if we are to perform the great escape.

At no stage was Jones wrong when he said we need Brown fit to stay up, but don’t forget Rea – a pivotal cog in this Luton Town wheel.

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