Ruddock Mpanzu determined to make up for lost time

Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu

Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu

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Hatters midfielder Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu was delighted to end six months of frustration against Accrington Stanley on Saturday.

The 22-year-old hadn’t played a first team match for the Hatters since February 14 after a persistent hamstring injury ruined the second half of his season.

“The next couple of weeks I’ll be fully fit and can hopefully start some games.”

Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu

However, he was back in the squad at the weekend, replacing summer signing Paddy McCourt on the hour mark and then completed his first 90 minutes since October 12 during Tuesday night’s 3-1 Capital One Cup win over Bristol City.

Speaking afterwards, Ruddock Mpanzu said: “Last season was an injury-hit season for me, so it was good to be back and playing for the team.

“It’s the first time I’ve been injured for that long, so it was hard mentally, but now hopefully I’m strong and injury free

“Si (Simon Parsell) and Daz (Darren Cook) need to keep rubbing it (hamstring), keep checking it over, but at the moment it’s fine.

“With injuries they can hit you whenever, but I’m feeling good.

“The next couple of weeks I’ll be fully fit and can hopefully start some games.”

On his return against City in miweek, boss John Still said: “It’s good to see Pelly getting back to proper fitness and his running power too. He was very tired at the end, we were going to take him off but I thought, no, we’ll go with him.

“Nothing was pulling, he was just getting tired. Him and Cam (Cameron McGeehan) had great energy, moved the ball well between themselves.

“It’s like having a new player. He’s been out a long while so it will take him a while to get into it, but it’s good to have Pelly back and he’ll be a plus.”