Jones felt his Town side were 'rocked' by Campbell's injury at Ewood Park

Hatters manager hails players' character to come back after seeing team-mate limp off

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 1:21 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 5:14 pm
Town boss Nathan Jones celebrates his side's 2-2 draw at Blackburn

Luton boss Nathan Jones felt his side’s fightback to earn a point at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday was all the more impressive after the visitors had been left 'rocked' by the early injury to midfielder Allan Campbell.

With just 10 minutes on the clock, the Hatters, who had already seen their preparations for the game disrupted by late injuries to Amari’i Bell, Elijah Adebayo and Admiral Muskwe, the latter pulling out just a minute before kick-off, then saw Campbell on the end of an awful challenge from home skipper Darragh Lenihan, which was punished with just a booking.

The summer signing from Motherwell could play no further part, replaced by Henri Lansbury, as Town then conceded twice in four minutes just after the midway point of the half.

Town then emerged for the second period looking a different team, as they went at their opponents full throttle, Luke Berry pulling one back, before the midfielder salvaged a point in the final seconds of stoppage time.

Jones said: “It’s a great manner to get a point, the celebrations, maybe we went over the top a little bit, but that’s football, it’s passion, it’s what we do it for.

“It felt like a win in the end because the manner of our performance as we weren’t good enough first half, but I think the injury rocked us a little bit, the injury really did.

“I remember when we were at Colchester and Luke Berry got injured early on and Cameron McGeehan got injured badly at Portsmouth, we never recovered from it.

“Today it took us 45 minutes to get in, to regroup and then we came out and apart from they had a few chances on the counter-attack as we were open, we had to go for it, but on the balance of everything, I think it’s a deserved point.”

Luton should have pulled one back earlier than they did, Cameron Jerome wasting a magnificent chance when one-on-one with Thomas Kaminski, after Harry Cornick's burst upfield.

They were also grateful to a magnificent save from keeper Simon Sluga for giving them the opportunity to go on and level, as he made a terrific stop from Ben Brereton Diaz, with Gabe Osho’s block preventing Rovers bagging a clinching third.

Jones added: “They’ve probably only had two chances in the first half and scored them both, showed real quality, but we know they have that quality.

“Statistically, possession-wise, entries, all that, we were the same, but they showed more quality.

“Second half, we came out with a little bit more endeavour, we had to risk certain things.

"Cameron Jerome had a glorious chance to make it 2-1 earlier on, we scored a perfectly legitimate goal also, and with a bit more quality we could have.

“Simon Sluga makes a wonderful save a couple of minutes before and then I think we get a deserved equaliser because of all we’ve been through.

“He’s very rarely called upon as our expected goals against isn’t very high and we defend well normally but today we were just a bit out of sorts, we really were.

“We didn’t defend well and credit to Blackburn, they probably had three forays into our box, scored with two, that's the quality they have and that’s the Championship, as a game can go away from you like that.

“Thankfully we rallied, Sluga made a couple of saves, we managed to get two and we go home with a point, it will be arguable whether it was justified, but for us it was.”