Jones backs Royals keeper to come good after a '˜whirlwind' debut

Hatters boss Nathan Jones is confident that goalkeeper Stuart Moore will show his true potential when Luton head to Grimsby Town this weekend.

Hatters keeper Stuart Moore
Hatters keeper Stuart Moore

The 22-year-old, who was signed on transfer deadline day due to Christian Walton’s recall by Brighton after an injury to Seagulls’ number two Niki Maenpaa, endured a difficult debut to say the least against Cheltenham Town on Tuesday evening.

His misplaced punch led to the Robins taking the lead after just five minutes, as he looked increasing nervy for the remainder of the 3-2 defeat, particularly from crosses.

However, Jones felt the nature of the move played its part in Moore’s underwhelming display and when asked if he had shown a positive reaction in training since, he said: “He has. I think it (the mistake) affected him in the game, I don’t think he was himself in the game or we didn’t see the true Stuart Moore the other night.

Luton keeper Stuart Moore

“But for the preparation, coming in, the late call-up, it was not ideal, especially for a goalkeeper.

“Because so early on, they put pressure on. They’re a good side from set-plays, they’ve scored over half of their goals from set-plays which is a phenomenal stat.

“It was a difficult one first five minutes and then I think it affected him, but he’s been a different character since then, and that’s what we want.

“With the recall so late and having to arrange it and back and forth, it wasn’t an ideal situation, that’s what we were disappointed with, but he got through the game and we build from there.”

Luton keeper Stuart Moore

Jones admitted that Moore hadn’t even had a single training sessiond with his new team-mates ahead of the game, as he continued: “No, it was literally straight in.

“We knew that (Niki) Maenpaa got injured and he was having a scan, but there was no real rush.

“I was at the Tottenham v Southampton U23s game on Monday night and found out there was a possibility he (Walton) might be recalled, but it wasn’t guaranteed until nine o’clock in the morning.

“Then we had to put in the contingency plans, which we have in place anyway, because we have lists. But he has to come here, has to sign, spends the afternoon in the hotel, comes here, meets the lads for the first time, at home, there’s a big crowd.

“It was a bit of a whirlwind for a young keeper and that probably reflected in it.

“Now he’s had a bit more time to settle down, to join in, so we’ll see the real one from here.”

Although Jones also signed Arsenal youngster Matt Macey on deadline day too, it appears Moore will get the nod over the Gunner for the trip to the Mariners tomorrow as the boss added: “I brought Stuart into play, now Matt’s come in and he backs himself to play, so we’ve got good competition, but initially I brought Stuart here to play.

“As soon as we knew Christian on the morning was going back to Brighton then we had to go to our lists and Stu has been on our lists, I’ve known about him for a long time, so we took him early.

“We needed probably to bring another one and we were getting a lot of calls as soon as people knew Christian was going back.

“We had a lot of phone calls that day about ‘would you take him? Would you take him? And Matt came up.

“Now Matt’s a fine young goalkeeper and one that we’ve been aware of and is at a fantastic club. We felt that we needed another one and that’s when we took Matt.”