Luton boss had 'no fear' about giving Kioso his Championship debut at Tykes

Defender impresses during his maiden second tier start

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 3:06 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 3:09 pm
Town defender Peter Kioso made his first Championship start on Tuesday night
Town defender Peter Kioso made his first Championship start on Tuesday night

Luton boss Nathan Jones had no qualms about handing defender Peter Kioso his full Championship debut in the 1-0 win at Barnsley last night.

The 22-year-old had joined Town back in January 2020 from Hartlepool after starting his career with Dunstable Town, spending last season on loan with Bolton Wanderers and Northampton Town in Leagues Two and One.

He had made two starts for the Hatters in the Carabao Cup, a 3-0 defeat against Manchester United last term, plus the penalty shootout loss to Stevenage last week, with his two other second tier outings coming from the bench.

However, Kioso was in from the beginning at Oakwell as part of a three-man defence with Tom Lockyer and Kal Naismith, and played a full part in the visitors' clean sheet, with two terrific sliding interventions, one following a fine Simon Sluga save in the first half standing out.

Speaking afterwards, Jones said: “We’ve got no fear with Pete, he’s brilliant and one thing with Pete is he relishes a battle.

"We know Pete’s going to put his head on it and we know he's going to be committed.

"Even when he committed one half error he got back, a great tackle, so I’m delighted for the kid.”

Wingback Amari’i Bell was also impressed to learn that was Kioso’s first start in the second tier, saying: “I didn’t know that, it was a great performance from him.

"He didn’t look out of his depth at all, did great and it’s going to put him in a good position for Saturday.”

Kioso was one of four players who were starting a Championship game for the Hatters for the first time, with summer signings Cameron Jerome, Henri Lansbury and Admiral Muskwe all included too.

Muskwe caught the eye, particularly in the first period, with some driving runs forward, having one shot repelled, before also showing his willingness to work for the cause too after the break, making an excellent block in his own area.

Jones felt that the ex-Leicester youngster's display showed the quality he has available to him this term, adding: “He (Muskwe) will (be a threat) and he’s not fully fit yet.

“The delay in the transfer means he’s missed a lot of the pre-season, so a lot of them are gathering speed, so many are gathering speed.

"Pelly’s (Mpanzu) not up to speed yet, Cameron Jerome's not, they've missed a bit of time.

"There’s others as well to come back in, (Dan) Potts, Tom Lockyer needs more minutes, we’ve got (Reece) Burke, we’ve got (Sonny) Bradley, so many that are out.

"(Danny) Hylton, and even (Jordan) Clark out, we lost Fred (Onyedinma) as well.

"So when you look at it, there’s another team there that are out, so competition is going to be good.”