‘Pantomime villain’ Hylton backed to thrive amongst the boos at Exeter

Danny Hylton is mobbed after scoring at Exeter
Danny Hylton is mobbed after scoring at Exeter

Luton’s ‘pantomime villain’ striker Danny Hylton has been backed to thrive once more when he leads the line at Exeter City this weekend.

The club’s leading marksman endured the wrath of the St James’ Park crowd during Hatters’ 3-1 FA Cup victory earlier this month, after winning and converting a controversial penalty earning.

He’s that type of polemic player, that kind of fans like to get on to, that players get annoyed by, but everyone would love him in their side.

Nathan Jones

He was then barracked mercilessly for the remainder of the match, picking up one of his eight bookings already this term, putting him just two cautions away from another suspension, his third of the campaign.

However, centre half and close friend Johnny Mullins said: “I’m sure he’ll go down there (as the) pantomime villain, so to speak.

“He thrives off it and it’s bringing out the best in him. I’ve known him for so long I’m just watching him blossom and blossom and he’s on absolute fire at the minute.”

Although well aware he could be target for the Grecians supporters, boss Nathan Jones conceded there was little he could do in terms of warning the 12-goal striker.

On whether he would have a word with him prior to kick-off, the Luton chief said: “I don’t know how many more times I can tell him that.

“He’s that type of polemic player, that kind of fans like to get on to, that players get annoyed by, but everyone would love him in their side.

“I can’t take too much away from him, but he has a responsibility to his team-mates that he’s on the pitch for as long as he can, for as many games as he can.

“I wouldn’t swap him and I wouldn’t want to take too much away from him, it’s just certain things have to change.

“If he had six, two bookings, two silly ones, then it wouldn’t be an issue, but a lot has been made of an issue, but I wouldn’t swap him.

“If it means I get what I get from him and I have to put up with that, then I would do that, as would any manager in this Football League, but he just has to learn for his own good.

“So it’s up to him and if he doesn’t learn himself now then there’s only so much you can do.”

Meanwhile, Hylton, who scored another penalty in the cup victory, wasn’t overly fussed about the reception he will be afforded during the 90 minutes, adding: “I’m not bothered what they say or do and I hope we go there and do the business again.

“It doesn’t matter what happened in the FA Cup. It’s going to be a different game and we have to make sure we’re right at it.”