Edwards thrilled to hand 'incredible' Luton midfielder Clark his first top flight outing

Play-off hero makes his Premier League debut at Manchester United
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Luton boss Rob Edwards labelled it ‘incredible’ to be able to hand midfielder Jordan Clark his Premier League bow during the 1-0 defeat to Manchester United on Saturday.

The pair had been team-mates a decade ago when Clark was coming through at Barnsley and the Town chief had moved to Oakwell as a senior player from Blackpool.

They were then reunited when Edwards was appointed as Nathan Jones’ successor almost a year ago, Clark going on to score the first goal of his reign when netting in the 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough.

Jordan Clark gets on the ball during his Premier League debut at Manchester United - pic: Liam SmithJordan Clark gets on the ball during his Premier League debut at Manchester United - pic: Liam Smith
Jordan Clark gets on the ball during his Premier League debut at Manchester United - pic: Liam Smith

He was on target during the play-off final victory over Coventry City in May as Town won on penalties, but then suffered ankle ligament damage in the pre-season trip to Germany.

That kept the ex-Accrington winger out of the first few months of Luton’s top flight campaign, as he had to bide his time patiently on the sidelines while getting fit.

Back on the bench for the 1-1 draw with Liverpool, Clark then got his opportunity with 18 minutes to go at Old Trafford, as Edwards said: “I think it’s incredible, Jordan is a Premier League footballer now with the journey he’s had.

"You see the level that he was performing at in the Championship last year, what he did at Wembley, it was just such a shame that we were missing him for so long.

"He’s a really important player for us, a brilliant human being, someone who can play in a number of different positions and tactically is very good.

"We’re going to need that, that’s why we recruited people who can play in two or three different positions as we’ve got to be flexible and be able to adapt and we’ve shown we have.

“I’m really pleased for Jordan, we’ve got a good number of lads who have got quite a good story as now we’re in the Premier League and hopefully it gives a lot of hope to people who have still got aspirations of playing at this level.

"People who dream and believe they can out there as our lads are showing them, they’re living it and competing really well.”

Likewise Clark was eager to praise his former team-mate and now manager for the manner in which he has helped him through a difficult few months out injured, as he added: “Last week was just to get round the lads a little bit as I was never meant to play, but it was nice to be back involved and see how things are at this level, being on the bench again.

"He’s always tried to keep me motivated and always said this is the game you will come on and get some minutes, so it's just nice for him to trust me, especially in such a big game.

"As he doesn’t have to put me on, there’s a lot of other players on the bench with a lot of quality, so it’s nice to be back involved.

"He’s been great, even since the first day I’ve been injured, he’s just a top, top man and a top manager, so you can't ask for much more from him.”