Luton boss felt summer acquisition Mendes Gomes fully deserved his first start in almost three months at Blackpool

Attacker rewarded for impressing his manager during training

By Mike Simmonds
Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 8:58 am
Carlos Mendes Gomes looks to attack against Blackpool - pic: Gareth Owen
Carlos Mendes Gomes looks to attack against Blackpool - pic: Gareth Owen

Luton boss Nathan Jones felt attacker Carlos Mendes Gomes was fully deserving of a first start in almost three months during Saturday’s 3-0 win at Blackpool.

The 23-year-old summer signing hadn't begun a game since the 2-2 draw with Blackburn on September 11, but was one of five changes Jones made to his side following the 2-1 defeat to Cardiff City.

The Hatters chief had given his backing to his acquisition from League Two Morecambe in the build-up to the fixture, believing he would take his chance when it arose, and also confirming Mendes Gomes would be staying put in the January transfer window.

That was then followed up by a starting berth at Bloomfield Road, as on the Senegal-born forward, who was with West Didsbury & Chorlton ahead his move into the professional game, Jones said: “It’s not been from nowhere as we have a plan for him.

“We know and he then has people in front of him, like Fred (Onyedinma) and Admiral (Muskwe) and Harry (Cornick) that he has to attain that level.

“Now he’s had a pretty meteoric rise from where he’s come from, and then he had a fantastic year at Morecambe and then everyone’s getting excited about him and they’re right to get excited about him.

“But it takes time and then this week he’s had a wonderful week in training and we just felt it was right.

“Whether it’s proved right or wrong, or whether Fred or whoever would have done the same thing, we feel we’ve got it right tactically today and we’ve won the game 3-0.”

Mendes Gomes impressed during his 77 minutes on the pitch, putting in a good shift both going forward and helping out defensively, as he went close to a first Luton goal too when he had an early shot blocked.

Striker Elijah Adebayo, who added the second goal on the afternoon, hopes his team-mate can now get a run in the side, adding: “Carlos is a very good player, we all know that in the squad and I’m happy for him because he took his chance brilliantly.

“He got on the ball when he could, conditions didn’t help massively, but I have a very good understanding with Carlos on and off the pitch.

"So hopefully this is the start of him breaking in and taking his chance.”