Hatters defender Kioso: It would mean everything if I could start derby clash against Hornets

Young full back would love to be in the team to face Watford at Vicarage Road

By Mike Simmonds
Saturday, 26th September 2020, 8:34 am
Updated Saturday, 26th September 2020, 8:38 am
Peter Kioso slides in against Manchester United on Tuesday night
Peter Kioso slides in against Manchester United on Tuesday night

Stepping out on the Vicarage Road playing surface this afternoon would ‘mean everything’ to Town full back Peter Kioso.

The 21-year-old made his full debut for the Hatters in their Carabao Cup 3-0 defeat against Manchester United on Tuesday night.

With James Bree expected to miss out on the trip to Watford due to a knee injury, then boss Nathan Jones faces a choice between Martin Cranie and Kioso for the berth, with the experienced defender having started both league games so far.

When asked if it could be him that gets the nod though, Kioso, who was playing for Hartlepool in the National League last term, said: “It would mean everything.

“We know what that game means, but we can take our performance from today (Tuesday night) and push it on into Saturday.

“I know that we're going to push on in our form, we’ve started very well and even though we lost today, it still shows that how good we started and everything we’re working on with the gaffer is working.”

Kioso has certainly come on leaps and bounds under Nathan Jones since arriving at the club in January when previous boss Graeme Jones was still in charge.

He was given his Championship debut during the final seconds of last season's 1-0 win at Hull, before getting slightly longer in the 1-0 cup success at Reading this term.

The former Dunstable youngster was then thrown in front the start against the likes of Dutch international Donny van de Beek in the contest with the Red Devils in midweek, eventually facing England star Marcus Rashford at the end.

Kioso continued: “It’s great to see the gaffer having faith in me, he doesn’t see age, he just sees the player and that’s the best thing.

“I don’t want people to see me as a young player, I want people to see me as a footballer as I’m a footballer.

“Age doesn't matter when you're in the men's game, it’s about stepping up and seeing what you can do.”

The fact that Jones himself was a full back, with over 500 games under his belt during a career with Southend, Brighton and Yeovil to name just three, is definitely something that Kioso is keen to tap into.

He said: “As a defender it helps a lot, knowing that the manager you’re playing under is a defender, so he knows a lot more than you know.

“He’s a lot more experienced than I am, so if there’s little things that he feels I need to work on, he always tells me to work on it.

"If there's little things he thinks I'm not that good at, he always speaks to me, but as I said, the gaffer has been great with me, that's the best thing about having the gaffer that we have, he trusts in me at the end of the day.

“I love working with the gaffer, I’ve said it before, when he feels like he needs to get on to me, he gets on to me.

"When he feels like he needs to put an arm around me he does it, but I don’t mind the gaffer getting on to me as I know that he means well and he just wants the best for me.,

"That’s the best thing that you can have as a player, a manager that believe in you.”

Although Kioso showed a real keenness to get forward on the right flank against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's visiting Reds on Tuesday night, he knows that it's at the back where the important works comes, Luton showing a far stronger resolve this term, conceding just twice in their previous four games.

He added: "Even though I’m a full back and modern day full backs, they play quite high, they're attacking, but for me, I've always said I need to defend first, that's my job.

"After I defend, that's when I can attack, I can't just be going up and not doing my defensive job as I'm a defender at the end of the day."