Hatters first team coach Hakan Hayrettin felt manager John Still’s bold substitutions paid off once more as they defeated Tranmere Rovers 1-0 at Kenilworth Road yesterday.
The Luton chief replaced Mark Cullen and Nathan Doyle with Ricky Miller and Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu just after the hour mark, with Miller scoring what turned out to be the winner soon afterwards.
It’s the third time a Hatters sub has netted the deciding goal already this season after Alex Wall (v Stevenage) and Luke Guttridge (v Northampton) as Hayrettin said: “Sometimes you can sit back and think we’re not going to make a change.
“But we’ve got the points on the board, we’re at home, we’ve got the advantage, lets go for it and it was a great substitution by the manager.”
Miller’s strike was an instinctive curling attempt from just outside the box, which squeezed past the reach of giant Rovers keeper Petr Brezovan.
Hayrettin continued: “I didn’t think the goalkeeper expected him to turn and shoot from where he did, but we know that he’s capable of that as we see that every day and we’ll take 1-0 all day long against a team like that.
“He turned a defender and I don’t think he had a lot of backlift and don’t think they thought he could score from there.
“But if you don’t buy a ticket, you don’t win the raffle, the boy took his chance well and good luck to him.”
It was Miller’s first league goal for the club and second in as many games, after netting in the FA Cup against Newport County AFC last week too.
Hayrettin said: “He still knows he’s got to come in Monday and work hard because at our place, there’s no-one that can have an easy ride.
“They all respond to what we do and he’s worked hard. When he came he was up for it, he was ready and thought it was going to be an easy thing and it isn’t.
“Anyone that comes to play for this team has to work hard and he’s worked hard all week. He tried his best and that’s all you can ask for. For him to score a goal like that at Kenilworth Road, well, it’s a wonder strike.”
Miller has only recently returned from a spell at Conference Premier side Dover Athletic and Hayrettin felt it was a feather in the cap for their loan policy.
He added: “The reason why they go out on loan is to keep their sharpness up and fitness up to play competitive football at a decent level.
“So when they’re back, they’re ready and he’s ready.”
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