Mullins backs Marriott to bounce back from missed chances

Jack Marriott puts this chance over the bar
Jack Marriott puts this chance over the bar

Hatters centre half Johnny Mullins has backed striker Jack Marriott to bounce back strongly from his missed chances against Leeds United last night.

The striker was sent clean through on two occasions, once rounding keeper Marco Silvestri only to stab over the bar on, before racing away to put another glorious chance wide with 12 minutes to go, as Luton went out of the EFL Cup.

Jack Marriott was off target from this one-on-one in the second half

Jack Marriott was off target from this one-on-one in the second half

However, Mullins didn’t think it would adversely affect Town’s leading scorer from last season, as he said: “He’s the strongest character. He’s a goalscorer and we know that on Saturday (against Cambridge), when one comes his way, he’ll put it away.

“He’s very strong mentally and that’s the life of a striker. We back Jack 100 per cent. I’ve been here and I think they might be the only chances I’ve seen him miss.

“So he’ll put them away everyday and if he needs an arm around him there’ll be people there.

“But knowing Jack, he’s very strong and he’ll be raring to go more than anyone come Saturday.

“We back Jack 100 per cent. I’ve been here and I think they might be the only chances I’ve seen him miss.”

Johnny Mullins

“That’s the life of football player. You have ups and downs and you have to ride them out. Jack’s fine.”

Boss Nathan Jones was quick to praise his striker too, saying: “Jack keeps getting in those positions because he’s dangerous and his movement is so good and so sharp.

“It’s Championship movement, Championship sharpness and he just lacked that finish.

“It was just a shame he did, because we were rocking at that point, we really, really were, it was a great time to score, but he’s done magnificent, he was a threat all night.”

Marriott’s second one late on could have forced extra time, as Jones was left purring in the manner in which the opportunity came about from Jonathan Smith’s lovely through ball.

He added: “It’s not like we’ve smashed it and flicked it and managed to get in, or been lucky, we’ve carved them open, a Championship side with experienced centre halves, and I’m super proud.

“I’m disappointed he didn’t take it as it could have taken us into extra time, we probably didn’t need extra time if I’m honest, but I’m really proud of my team.

“It’s not just that too, they didn’t just give me everything, they actually played with a real structure and showed they’re a good side, a real, real good side.”