Hatters boss reveals why he went with Jerome over Cornick to partner Adebayo during Albion victory

Town striker Cameron Jerome celebrates his first league goal for LutonTown striker Cameron Jerome celebrates his first league goal for Luton
Town striker Cameron Jerome celebrates his first league goal for Luton
Forward sets Luton on their way to important success

Town boss Nathan Jones felt his decision to partner Cameron Jerome upfront alongside Elijah Adebayo paid off during the 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

With Harry Cornick fully fit and the Hatters’ second top scorer this term, Jones opted to go with the 35-year-old forward instead, who was making his ninth league start for Town and 650th senior appearance following an impressive career with Birmingham City, Norwich City and Cardiff City to name just three of his previous sides.

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It worked perfectly too, Jerome showing all his knowhow and experience to prove a nuisance to centre halves Kyle Bartley, Semi Ajayi and Matt Clarke, escaping their attentions to go through at the end of the first half, rolling a low shot against the post.

However, he was on target just 10 minutes into the second period, with a thumping header from Kal Naismith’s free kick as both he and Adebayo produced excellent performances as a pairing to ensure Luton leapfrogged their play-off rivals, climbing to eighth place in the table.

Explaining why he made the call, Jones said: “We felt it was a game for him rather than Harry Cornick today.

"They’ve got three big, strong centre halves and we felt with the greatest respect to Harry, he could have got swallowed up.

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"Harry’s a runner, Harry needs fluent space and we felt that we might need two number nines today.

"I’m delighted for Cameron as I thought his all round play was excellent, he was a threat, he should have scored first half, nearly did, then a great header for that goal.

"That’s why we brought him in, we brought him in so he challenges Elijah, but the times we play them together, they’re a handful and it proved that.

“He’s toiled and he’s worked hard, I felt today it was the right chance to bring him against their back three, against the strength they had.

“We were brave, we didn’t change, we kept at it.

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"We made sure we defended well and I thought apart from a few scary moments in the first half when we got away with one or two, if we’d only taken our chances and probably eradicated those errors then it would have been an excellent all-round performance.

"But to win 2-0 against West Brom at home, however way you do it, is fantastic.”

On being given the nod to take on the Baggies, Jerome himself said: “West Brom are a very physical side, so the manager probably thought we needed something different.

"It’s horses for courses in football, the manager is quite tactically shrewd in that sense and I thought he got it spot on, with two big, physical guys against those three big, physical centre halves.

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"It was a war of attrition with the conditions, but I thought we gave them more than a run for their money.”

They certainly did too, with Jerome finally off the mark in the second tier for Town at the 20th attempt, following up his goals in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup this term.

It was a trademark strike too, the forward displaying the superb leap and powerful header he has done all throughout his career, giving England international Sam Johnstone little chance.

Team-mate Allan Campbell made sure Jerome's goal was part of a victory too, firing home from outside the box late on, as Jones added: “It was wonderful delivery, good movement, timing and a great header, he’s been doing that for years Cameron Jerome.

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"I'm delighted to score from a set-play, because there are as good as any from set-plays.

"They’re a big side, a strong side, so to reverse it if you like was kind of ironic.

"But we’re delighted and delighted with the second goal from Allan Campbell as it’s actually stuff we encourage him to do.

"Stuff we work on, stuff that we show him on video that he could be a little bit more bold in things, and I thought he was excellent."