Palmer responds perfectly to Jones' criticism with last-gasp winner

Ollie Palmer wheels away in pure delight after scoring the winner against Blackpool
Ollie Palmer wheels away in pure delight after scoring the winner against Blackpool

Hatters striker Ollie Palmer produced the perfect response to manager Nathan Jones' criticism in the week by bagging a crucial last-minute winner against Blackpool on Saturday.

The forward had been disappointed after dropping to the bench for the visit to Colchester United last weekend after starting the previous game against Newport County.

Jones admitted he had spoken to the on-loan Leyton Orient forward and demanded more from the 6ft 5ins striker, who had netted just once since signing from the Matchroom Stadium in January.

Palmer heeded the advice and tapped home from two yards in the 90th minute to send Kenilworth Road into ecstasy, while ending Luton's five game winless run as Jones said: “I’m delighted for him that he got the goal as I was critical of him during the week.

“I want him to have the bit between his teeth and he did today and fair play.

“That was the message this week, we needed him to be more dominant, needed to make sure he gives us that impetus when he comes on and he did that.

“He was disappointed he didn’t start last week, but you can’t let that get to you as it’s a group and I don’t care what I have to do to get results out of this group for the next month.

“If I have to go and punch someone in the back of the head, they’d better take it and they’d better respond so we are going and getting the wins that we need.

“Now I won’t do that, but sometimes I make decisions and ones they may not agree with, respect it, get on with it and we’ll be a better team for it.”

Town’s winner when it came saw all three substitutes involved with Jack Marriott in the thick of the action, while it was Luke Gambin’s shot that was fumbled, allowing Palmer to finish the move he had started.

Jones added: “We’re delighted for them as we asked them to be game-changers. Jack came on, pressed, gave us impetus, with the stretching of the pay, so they were always on the back foot.

“Ollie got the goal, Gambin had a hand in it, so they changed the game.”