Hatters boss Nathan Jones praised attacker Jordan Cook for taking his pre-match instructions on board as he opened his account for the season during Tuesday night’s 4-0 Checkatrade Trophy victory over West Ham United.
The 27-year-old closed down Hammers keeper Nathan Trott in stoppage time to block his clearance into the net, which although looked like a moment of fortune at the time, afterwards, Jones revealed it was something he had pointed out to his side prior to the fixture.
The Town chief said: “They’re quite an expansive side, the keeper takes chances, I watched their game against Wycombe and he did two Cruyff turns in his own box and playing out.
“So he has that confidence in his own ability to do that, we showed them that and said any opportunity you can, close him down, especially on his left foot, because he’s left footed.
“So Jordan’s just taken that on board, he’s had chances to have opened his account and I’m pleased he scored as I think he deserved it because he’s toiled all night.
“He led the line really well, his movement was excellent, and just the final thing was missing.
“But his work rate and his stretching of the play and his movement was superb all night, as was (Aaron) Jarvis and I’m really pleased for the pair of them.”
It wasn’t just Cook who was off the mark for the campaign either as young midfielder Kavan Cotter bagged his first professional goal too, firing home after Jack Senior’s cross dropped into his path.
That was something else Jones had been working on too, as he continued: “I was really pleased for Kav Cotter, but we had opportunities to put it in their box a little bit earlier, in terms of Jack Senior, he back-heeled one when he had a chance to put it in there.
“We felt if we put enough pressure on their back four we’d get goals and then when we did that, especially towards the end, we did.
I watched their game against Wycombe and he did two Cruyff turns in his own box and playing out.Nathan Jones
“They’ve got some fantastic attacking players, and they can hurt you, what we had to do was make sure we defend well and then put them under pressure.
“We put them under pressure that they didn’t handle and we took our chances.
“We earmarked certain things that we could hurt them with or we felt we could hurt them with and we did.
“It was a super ball in from Jack for the goal and then Kav following up showed great composure.
“We recalled him because of the injuries to (Alan) McCormack and to Harry Cornick, we felt we needed that and it was justifiable, so we’re pleased for him.”
Although coming up against an academy side, it was still a good test for the hosts, with their opponents containing a number of full internationals, including striker Toni Martinez, who the Hammers signed for £2.4m from Valencia.
Luton’s own international, Luke Gambin, stood out on the night for the hosts, creating the first goal for Lawson D’Ath with a pinpoint cross as Jones added: “I thought he was really bright for about 70-75 minutes then he showed he needed probably a few games, but he had that little spark about him.
“Their back four is young and our back four is as young if not younger than theirs, so it was pretty even.
“Their front four, there are some players there, (Martin) Samuelsen, who’s been on loan at Peterborough, Martinez who was at Oxford, (Domingos) Quina, who has got some reputation, so it was a good test for us.”