'Wonderful' Pelly is hailed by Jones

Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu in action against Cambridge

Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu in action against Cambridge

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Hatters boss Nathan Jones hailed midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu’s display against Cambridge United on Saturday as ‘wonderful’.

The 23-year-old was in supreme form throughout the clash, winning the sponsor’s man of the match award afterwards for what was easily one of his finest displays in a Luton shirt.

It came as the former West Ham man completed his third straight 90 minutes in the league for the first time this team, playing in the holding midfield role, a position that is starting to bring the very best out of him.

Time and time again, Mpanzu was in the right place to clear the United danger in the second period, while he didn't neglect his attacking duties either, bursting forward when the chance arose too.

On his efforts, Jones said: “He was wonderful, I thought he was our best player, well he was our best player through the game.

“When they did go for random events in the second half and threw the ball in the box he was there so many times.

“He settles us down a little bit as he’s a laid back type of guy. That’s the laid-backness he has in his everyday life and he brings that to the pitch.”

Mpanzu’s team-mates fully appreciated the level of performance he had put in, with goalscorer Isaac Vassell saying: “With Pelly in that deeper role he breaks up play so well as he’s so strong and athletic.

“He gets round the pitch well, stops a lot of forward play and is starting to get that quality as well with his passing, range of passing, so it’s good for him.”

Meanwhile, Jordan Cook added: “It’s frustrating this season when teams just sit back and defend and then go long, it’s not exactly ideal for us.

“But we’ve got to learn and handle that and I think we did. They went long quite a bit to the big man upfront for them, but Pelly in front of the back four was outstanding.

“That’s three full games he’s played there. He’s battled and battled we’ve kept the clean sheet which is the most important thing.”