Hatters boss: 'Effective' Cornick is no substitute any more for Luton

Harry Cornick applauds the Town fans on Saturday
Harry Cornick applauds the Town fans on Saturday

Luton boss Graeme Jones believes Harry Cornick is starting to show just how effective an attacking force he can be for the Hatters after his extended run in the first team.

The 24-year-old has started the last five league games for Town, his best run since a period between November and December last term, when he began eight in a row.

Cornick has found the net three times in that run, showcasing all kinds of finishing attributes too, a thumping header against West Bromwich Albion, scoring a close range blast at Barnsley, before coolly chipping into the net from 30 yards during Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at QPR.

On his form so far this season, Jones said: “I’m really impressed.

“Harry is not a squad player, he’s not a substitute, Harry’s a guy who has been a really effective player for us, really effective.

“Harry’s starting to realise his role has changed and he’s taking responsibility for that.

“He’s improving and getting stronger, but he still had to come off on 80 minutes because his body is not used to that kind of physicality, but he gets stronger and stronger every week.

“Harry is a bright boy, he understands his role and, at the minute, he is playing in a team with the style of play that allows him to be effective.”

Cornick only started one game after December 29 last term, scoring in the 3-1 defeat at Charlton, meaning he didn’t have a great deal of chance to impress Jones during the matches he was watching before officially taking charge of the club.

When asked if it was something he had noticed in pre-season that caught his eye, the Luton chief continued: "I did, he’s a bright boy as well, he’s intelligent, he gets it.

“So if you give him any kind of tactics, he takes it on board.

“Obviously he’s got a physical aspect that can hurt anybody with the pace he’s got, but he’s better technically than anyone gives him credit for.

“I think his appreciation has improved and his mentality is getting better with every game because when you’re a regular starter you have to take responsibility for your performances and results.

“He’s started to understand that, he’s contributed hugely since the opening game against Middlesbrough.”

Cornick admitted after the defeat at QPR that he was continuing to work on his finishing with Jones, who was a striker of some repute in his own career.

The former Bournemouth winger had scored eight all competitions last season, but is now the club's second top marksman in the Championship.

Describing how he helped Cornick on the training ground, Jones said: “I’m from a school of I think you can improve everybody, whether that’s temporary or permanent, they’ll decide by the amount of homework they keep working at.

“When it’s unnatural, that needs to be repetitive work.

“We’ve done some work with Harry on correct technical selection.

“Sometimes in front of goal, you see strikers if it comes on your left foot, they try to use the outside of their right foot, it has to be the right technical selection at the right time.

“But I think it’s quite simple, I make sure that they get punished if they don’t hit the target and worst case, you’ve got to hit the target as a striker to give yourself a chance.

“It’s a simple theory and I think he’s benefited from that.”

Cornick is now starting to form a dangerous partnership with James Collins and Kazenga LuaLua for the Hatters, with he and Collins netting five of the club’s last seven Championship strikes.

The attacker also proved he can set up goals too, crossing for Collins’ fourth of the season against QPR last weekend, as Jones added: “There was a chance the minute before, a carbon copy where Kaz crosses the ball and Harry’s just got to pull it back.

“So there’s lots of little things that happen in football matches that either go for you or they cost you and I’m pleased with James, I’m really pleased with Harry and I like that combination.

“The two boys are well and truly at the Championship level now.

“I think Collo’s got three in three, Harry has got three goals now, so I’m delighted with them.

“We’re always creating chances, we’re a handful going forward.

“I think we’ve been strong with Kaz in the side as well since Sheffield Wednesday when the three of them started a game for the first time.

“We’ve got tonnes and work to do and lots of improvement to make, so lets keep going.”