Jones hails 'magnificent' Doughty after admitting wait for a first league start had left summer signing from Stoke feeling 'dejected'

Alfie Doughty in action against West Ham during pre-seasonAlfie Doughty in action against West Ham during pre-season
Alfie Doughty in action against West Ham during pre-season
New boy impresses on Hatters debut at Carrow Road

Luton boss Nathan Jones declared that although summer signing Alfie Doughty has been left ‘dejected’ by his wait for a first outing for his new side, his attitude in training meant that when he did get his rewards he he delivered a ‘magnificent performance in the 1-0 win at Norwich City on Tuesday night.

The 22-year-old was snapped up from fellow Championship side Stoke City for an undisclosed fee in June, and was one to really catch the eye in the pre-season friendlies, with some thrilling displays on the left hand side.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

An injury in the final game against West Ham though meant he was absent for the first matches of the season as he had to first recover, but then build his fitness back up again, by turning out for the Development squad scoring in a 9-0 triumph over Academy 23 last month.

He was then back on the first team bench for the 2-0 win over Blackburn Rovers, but despite being in the squad for the last following four games, had yet to be called on by Jones.

With Luton heading to Carrow Road for the second of their three games this week, Doughty was given his maide start for the Hatters, and first since he began for Cardiff City, coincidentally against Town in April, during his loan spell with the Bluebirds.

The ex-Charlton youngster impressed in his 77 minutes on the pitch too as playing far further forward than previously imagined, his pace and direct running were a real threat for the Canaries.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In the first half, he quickly set his stall out to attack the hosts whenever possible, setting up Cornick and then after the break, a lung-busting run from inside his own half saw a decent cross delivered on his less favoured right foot, only for the opportunity to go begging.

There was no mistaking just what a player Doughty could be for the Hatters if he can steer clear of injury though, as Jones said: “Alfie Doughty coming in for first start after picking up an injury, we played him in an eight today, and he showed real athleticism, gave us a real bit of impetus.

“It’s his first start, he’s been dejected at times, but he’s trained hard and trained well and to put a shift in like that shows that he has put the shift in as if you don't, he comes in today and lets the team down.

“But he didn’t, he was magnificent and I’m really proud of him for that.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Doughty was one of three changes made by Jones, Fred Onyedinma and Cornick both coming into the side, with Henri Lansbury, Sonny Bradley and Elijah Adebayo dropping to the bench.

The fact that they could still put a side out strong enough to beat one of the promotion favourites on their own patch, who were plying their trade in the Premier League last term, despite the trio’s key involvements in Saturday’s 3-1 win over QPR, was a real boost for Jones, as he continued: “To be fair we should be stronger, we’ve got a few out.

“Gabe (Osho), Pelly-Ruddock (Mpanzu) are out and a few others, Cauley Woodrow, we’ve got a strong squad, but we’re going to need that.

“We’ve shown that as on 60 minutes we were going to make a double substitution and bring real energy on as we know we need to maintain that.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It’s a wonderful squad, but it’s not just that, it’s the way they work and the way they graft, the way they go about their business, the humility they show and the desire to do well, I’m really proud of them for that.”