Having watched Luton Town’s fairytale rise to the Premier League from the sidelines, Jack Walton now wants a starring role in a Dundee United redemption story.

The on-loan goalkeeper was on the fringes of a captivating promotion for the Premier League’s newest underdogs, but is staking a claim to be a key player for Jim Goodwin as he attempts to steer the Tannadice club back to the Premiership. Walton was an impressive performer in Tuesday night’s Viaplay Cup win at Falkirk, producing a number of second-half saves to ensure Kai Fotheringham’s goal proved to be the winner.

Defeats in their opening two matches mean United won’t play in the knockout rounds, and Walton is now focused on the upcoming Championship campaign. He’s hoping his influence can help make United’s dressing room a winning one in the months to come.

“I have come here for promotion and when I spoke to the gaffer that is the ambition,” the 25-year-old said. “We have high expectations here and which I enjoy that pressure. I am a winner.

“I know what it takes to be in a winning dressing room and what it takes on the pitch and I will bring my experience to the group and try to help us get promoted.

“It is hard to say what makes a winning dressing room. It is simple things like togetherness, spirit, it is making sure you work hard for your team-mates.

“If someone makes a mistake, someone else is there to help them. You need that.

“I can feel we have everything here to be successful.”

Memories of Luton’s play-off final triumph remain clear in Walton’s mind. Despite narrowly missing out on a place in the matchday squad, the emotions were no less turbulent in a nail-biting win over Coventry City that was eventually settled on penalties.

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“The play-off final was amazing and I can still remember the celebrations," he recalled.

“Sitting watching it was horrible and it was the longest three hours of my life. It was nail-biting stuff. 

“We should have been well ahead and then we almost lost it in the second half.

“Then it was extra-time and penalties but thankfully I wasn’t wearing a heart monitor because god knows what it would have said.

“I did the warm-up as I was third choice on the day and when they missed the penalty for us to win it I was straight on the park.

“I actually don’t know how I did my hamstring the way I sprinted I will never know.

“I am delighted for Luton, a small club, but like Dundee United it has a massive fanbase to be in the Premier League.

“We deserved what we got as the boys were brilliant and they have so much quality in the squad. I am looking forward to seeing what they can do.

“They have been written off by a lot of people but they might surprise a few.”

Having also experienced promotion and relegation at Barnsley, Walton feels familiar with the lingering pain from United’s ill-fated 2022/23 campaign, and with the expectations now hanging over this one. He believes channelling that disappointment can be a major motivating factor in ensuring the club do not become mired in the second tier for years to come.

“I was at Barnsley from 15 and there for years and made my debut there,” said Walton.

“I had two promotions. One I was really young but the other I was a real part of it.

“I’ve had a relegation there as well so I know how it feels for Dundee United.

“We turned it back into a positive quickly to kick on the next season and that’s what we want to do here.

“I have had a lot of experiences in football which can help me here.”