Kioso ready to play his part in Town's final push for the top six
Full back could feature heavily due to Luton’s injury crisis
Town defender Peter Kioso is determined to give his all to the cause as he embarks on playing a far bigger role than he might have previously expected in Luton’s push for the Premier League this term.
The 22-year-old, who spent the first half of the season on loan at League One MK Dons, was recalled in January, going on to feature 13 times for the Hatters ahead of their home clash against Blackpool on Saturday, with seven starts.
A number of defensive absentees has upped Kioso’s game-time in recent weeks, all Sonny Bradley, Kal Naismith, Tom Lockyer and Reece Burke all absent at various stages.
What could well be a season ending ankle injury to James Bree, plus Fred Onyedinma also being out due to a tight groin, meant the former Dunstable youngster was recalled at the weekend, moving to his preferred right wing-back role.
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With neither Bree or Onyedinma expected to return for Monday night’s trip to Fulham, and their fitness for the remainder of the campaign, however long that may be, also a doubt, Kioso could well be called upon for Town’s final fixtures, as he said: “The gaffer has put trust in me and the boys have put trust in me.
"They know that I’ll come and give 100 per cent for them because as I’ve always said, everyone puts the team first and I know when asked upon, I’ll do what I need to.
"It’s always good to get another appearance, but it’s always good to help the team.
“It’s unfortunate that players are getting injured, but at the same time, we know that we have everyone’s back.
"The skip (Sonny Bradley) going down, Eli (Elijah Adebayo) coming off, it’s not the best and you don’t want to see any of the players you play with get injured, but unfortunately that’s what happens in football, it’s part of football.
"We’ve just got to get on with it, make sure we’re doing ourselves proud, the team proud and the boys that have got injured proud as well.
“I feel like right now, my focus, the boys’ focus and the club’s focus is the next game.
"We don’t want to think too far ahead, Fulham is the next game, so we need to take the positives.”
Kioso was part of a back five against the Tangerines that hadn’t played together this term, with Tom Lockyer, Bradley and Dan Potts lining up in the middle, Amari’i Bell on the left.
Although Town’s defending was shaky at times, particularly in the first half, the ex-Hartlepool player didn’t think there were any issues with such an altered back-line.
He continued: “I wouldn't say that, we train every day so everyone knows each other.
"The most important thing is everyone trusts each other, that’s the best thing we can have in this team.
"No matter who comes in, we trust they can do a job, not just for himself, but he has to put the team first and that’s why he does that job.
“Everyone in that back five, we haven’t played together much, but at the end of the day, there’s still loads of positives to take from the game and to keep going.”
It wasn't just the defence that was different, but as behind them, keeper Harry Isted was making his full Hatters’ debut in place of the injured James Shea.
The keeper impressed with positivity when coming out for crosses and could do little about Gary Madine’s penalty, as Kioso added: “Isted’s been amazing since he’s come in.
"We trust Isted, we know that Isted will do a job and that’s the most important thing, us putting trust in each other and trust in the team.
"We know that everyone can be called upon and that’s what we’re seeing with lots of injuries coming in.
"Everyone’s being called upon, so it’s just making sure we do the job we need to when asked to.”