Town chief explains why Mpanzu missed out at Reading

Luton boss Graeme Jones admitted that midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu was dropped to the bench for tactical reasons during the 3-0 defeat at Reading earlier this month.

Friday, 22nd November 2019, 3:26 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd November 2019, 3:35 pm
Town midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu

The 25-year-old’s exclusion from the starting 11 had been something of a surprise to those at the Madejski Stadium, especially after the former West Ham youngster had impressed since his recall to the team for the 2-1 win at Blackburn Rovers, also netting a first goal of the campaign in Town’s 3-0 victory over Bristol City.

But he didn’t get on against the Royals, despite Town's poor showing on the day and when asked why he didn’t feature, Jones said: “Pelly knows why, Pelly was very comfortable with it.

"There are different reasons for different things, but we had no set-piece taker on the pitch, so there’s lots of things that you take into consideration when you’re picking a team.

“We’ve been strong from set-plays, you lose Izzy (Brown) and no Jacob Butterfield against (Nottingham) Forest, no Andrew Shinnie against Forest, there’s always requirements when you pick a starting 11.

“If we’re talking about playing your role, Pelly’s been excellent.

“I’m more than happy with Pelly Ruddock, I think he’s stepped up, I think he’s coped with it as well as anybody.

“But again it was genuine tactical reasons and Pelly knows that, he’s been very comfortable with that.

“If Pelly’s called upon tomorrow, he’ll respond the right way as he’s Luton Town through and through and that’s the kind of professional he that he is.”