Competition is driving Marriott on with Luton

Luton striker Jack Marriott

Luton striker Jack Marriott

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Hatters striker Jack Marriott believes the competition for places up front is helping to drive him on at Kenilworth Road.

Marriott has had to make do with a place on the bench for Town recently after a hip injury curtailed his run of five goals in seven matches.

“Whether it’s me nipping at their heels or them nipping at mine, it keeps it fresh and keeps everyone on their toes.”

Jack Marriott

He then saw Joe Pigott make the most of his opportunity with three goals in two games, but came on to head home his 14th of the season during Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Newport County.

Marriot said: “I think Joe’s done very, very well since he came in as he had a lot to deal with.

“He did well again as well (against Newport), he hit the bar, the keeper’s made a good save late on, and he was unlucky as it would have been good for him to score the winner.

“But it’s nice to have competition, I said it from the start of the season when Craig (Mackail-Smith) was fit.

“Whether it’s me nipping at their heels or them nipping at mine, it keeps it fresh and keeps everyone on their toes.”

Any hopes that Hatters had of joining today’s hosts Northampton Town in League One next season via the play-offs were ended on Saturday after a 1-1 draw against Newport County.

However, Luton can approach the game on a decent run of form, unbeaten in four matches and Marriott wants to take some momentum into the new campaign, as he said: “Our aim is now to finished the season strong, have a good summer and then be ready to start when we come back next season.

“It’s disappointing to see our play-off hopes completely gone, but unfortunately that’s the way it goes.”

Hatters boss Nathan Jones is excepted to trim back his squad at Kenilworth Road over the summer, although Marriott will be part of his plans, having signed a contract extension back in August.

The forward believes there are exciting time ahead too, adding: “We’ve got some good young lads coming through, we’ve seen Zane (Banton) a couple of times, he’s sharp, he’s strong and he’s got a lot of ability, so it puts us in good stead for next season.

“I’m not sure what the gaffer’s going to do transfer wise, but I’m just going to be ready for pre-season to hit the ground running.”

Marriott has been impressed by the way the new manager has handled him since taking over too, continuing: “He praises me when he feels it’s right to praise me and because I’m young, you don’t want praise going to young people’s heads.

“It probably wouldn’t with me, buy you’ve got to keep your head and stay grounded no matter what you do.

“I think the manager knows that and he’s treated me well, as I just want to be out there playing and scoring goals.”

On Marriott’s efforts since he was appointed, Jones added: “He picked up an injury then Joe stepped in and has done very, very well, but he’s important to us Jack because he’s a good player.

“We like him here, he’s learning and he’s had a wonderful first full season in league football, a good haul, 13/14 goals and we’ve bright hopes for Jack.

“It’s good to see him back and flourishing. He’s worked hard and been sharp so it’s good signs, he’s the type of player we want here.”