Nathan on lessons learned at Luton
Tue 12 May 2015, 11:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Nathan Oduwa labelled his first taste of senior football as “a big eye-opener” and believes his three-month spell at Luton Town has made him appreciate the trials and tribulations of first team action.
The 19-year-old wide attacker linked up with the League Two side at the beginning of February after appearing regularly for our Under-21 side and swiftly made his Football League debut as a second half substitute in a 1-1 draw at Oxford United.
Three days later he was handed his first start, completing the full 90 minutes of a 2-2 home draw with York City, and went on to make 11 appearances for the Hatters in the weeks that followed.
Reflecting on his spell at Kenilworth Road, Nathan admitted he learned a number of lessons which he hopes to use to his advantage as his career progresses.
“It was an amazing experience playing in a men’s team week in, week out, fighting for promotion and playing in front of a big crowd,” he said.
“You can see that the games are more important at senior level because you have people fighting for their lives, paying bills and everything, so every point counts, everything counts.
“I would also say the tempo is more aggressive and it’s a higher tempo than Under-21s football, especially when you’ve got 10,000 fans cheering your name.
“When that happens you just feel like saying to yourself ‘I’m a part of this’ and you know you have to do something with the ball every time you get it.”
As manager John Still sought the right formula in a bid to secure a play-off berth in the closing weeks of the campaign – ultimately falling just short – Nathan found himself in and out of the matchday squad.
An unused substitute in his side’s last game, a 2-0 home win over Stevenage, he admitted the competition for places at the business end of the season was a real learning curve.
“Being out of the team was hard to deal with but that’s something where you’ve got to learn how to keep your head down and keep working because the manager is just finding the best players that he needs to get him the three points,” he continued.
“If he feels those players are going to do it then that’s the manager’s choice. All I can do is just keep working in training, keep working hard and try to prove to him that I can help the cause.
“My first loan experience has been a big eye-opener, finding out what it’s like to be around a senior team on a matchday after a loss or a win, and I hope that in some way I’ve been able to contribute something positive to Luton’s season.
“There were some big learning points that I took from it. Sadly we didn’t make the play-offs but the fans were fantastic. I loved every minute of it and it was a good experience for me personally.”