Hatters boss wants to send LuaLua's potential 'through the roof'
Hatters boss Nathan Jones wants to see Kazenga LuaLua's potential go '˜through the roof' after his starring role against MK Dons on Tuesday night.
The former Newcastle and Brighton winger produced a man of the match display during the 3-0 victory over their League Two opponents, scoring an excellent first goal for the club as well.
Jones, who was on the coaching staff with Brighton when LuaLua was at the Amex earlier in his career, now wants to unlock that kind of strike on a regular basis, as he said: “He’s not even fit yet, but he has real potency.
“I know what he does, and what he brings. He’s a wonderful player, he’s powerful, he’s quality, he can destroy people, and he’s done that.
“He’s given a few people a real torrid evening and that’s why we brought him here, that’s what we know he can do.
“We’ll work on him and we’ve got to get him better, my job is to get him better, because he’s been a wonderful player, but now we need to send him through the roof.”
LuaLua himself is confident that he can only improve with the Hatters after spending his first month with the club since signing a deal until the end of the season last month.
He said: “This is my first proper game in three months, not to start, but just to come on, as last time I was involved was when I was Sunderland, so a long time ago.
“To be fair, the last 10 minutes, I was blowing, but it was good to get minutes because I haven’t played for long time.
“It was good to start a game, as I remember last time I started a game was almost one year ago, it was at QPR, it was actually the week I lost my dad, that’s the last time I started, so it was nice to start a game and it was a positive.
“I’m getting fitter and fitter, the training here has been unbelievable.
“The boys here have made me feel so welcome, I can’t thank them enough for that as I thought it wasn’t going to be easy, but I have to thank the manager too.
“I’m getting better in each training session, so there will be more to come for sure.
“I know the manager from Brighton and know how good he is.
“He knows me better than most people really, he knows my game, knows he can improve me, so it’s nice.
“I’m happy to be here, happy to play for this club and to be involved with the boys is a good choice.”
On the goal he scored, his first since netting for QPR in a 2-1 Championship defeat Preston in February 2017, he was quick to praise his team-mates, saying: “It was nice, it’s always good to score, but the most important thing is the team, a nice goal, but I wouldn’t score without my team-mates.
“Every players want to score the goals, the last time I scored was at QPR, but I always get my team-mates involved as without them, I wouldn’t be scoring, so it was nice play, but thanks to my team-mates who allowed me to shoot.
“We created a lot of chances, we could have made it a little bit easier for us, but saying that, this kind of games, is not an easy game, the most important thing is we’re through.”
LuaLua’s goal was followed his trademark cartwheel and backflip celebration, as on his acrobatics, he added: “I have to be careful, I’ve hurt my ankle before, but I know what I’m doing, even though I haven’t done it for a while.
“The boys wanted to see it, so it was nice.”