Luton chief hails Town's back-line after a first clean sheet since October

Keeper Sluga can celebrate his maiden shut out in English football

By Mike Simmonds
Thursday, 13th February 2020, 12:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th February 2020, 12:05 pm
Sonny Bradley celebrates a second clean sheet of the season for Luton against Sheffield Wednesday last night
Sonny Bradley celebrates a second clean sheet of the season for Luton against Sheffield Wednesday last night

Luton chief Graeme Jones felt that his defence thoroughly deserved their first Championship clean sheet since mid-October when beating Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 at Kenilworth Road last night.

For goalkeeper Simon Sluga, it was his first shut out in English football, while centre halves Matty Pearson and Sonny Bradley, who have played the majority of games in which Town have been breached 66 times, were only clocking up their second of the campaign.

Bradley had been brought back into the side in place of Spurs loanee Cameron Carter-Vickers after missing the last two matches with injury, as Jones said: “They deserve it, they’re such honest boys, I love them.

“All three of them have had adversity this season, but keep putting themselves out there.

“When you keep putting yourself out there and you keep training every day and you’re a good professional, eventually you’ll get your rewards as you’ll improve, and that’s what you’ve seen.

“Sonny’s the captain of this football club, he’s never shirked anything.

“He probably should have pulled out of the warm up against Derby, and played for 95 minutes, so I thought it was right to put him in tonight.

“Luckily now I’ve got three centre halves that I trust and that I believe in.

"So for the first time in this job I’ve got options in certain positions and that makes life a little bit easier.”

Croatian stopper Sluga has endured a tough maiden season in English football, losing his place before Christmas after a number of costly errors.

However, since the turn of the year he has looked a different proposition, with some solid displays and is slowly showing signs that he can justify the £1.3m price tag Town splashed out on him back in August.

Jones continued: “You've seen his improvement, so if you’re talking about performances, it's been coming.

“He’s got better and better and better, I thought he was so assured tonight, really, really good and that boy’s not turned away from anything.

“He’s got his rewards and I'm delighted for Simon.”

Team-mate Danny Hylton, who came on in the second period for his first appearance of the season, felt it was a long overdue clean sheet for the Hatters too.

He added: "They deserve it, they’ve put in some decent performances, some really good performances and we haven’t got them for one reason or another.

"I was really happy for the back four and the whole team, but the back four and the goalkeeper, it's something they deserve as it’s been a long time coming."