Hatters midfielder Cameron McGeehan hailed a ‘special night’ as Luton progressed through the second round of the EFL Cup by despatching Championship side Aston Villa 3-1 at Kenilworth Road on Wednesday night.
Town had trailed to an early Jordan Ayew goal as the visitors dominated in the opening stages, but McGeehan knew it was always likely his side would had to weather an early storm from the visitors.
Weather it they did though, before Jake Gray, McGeehan himself, and Jores Okore’s comical own goal saw Luton through to face Leeds United in the next round as McGeehan said: “It’s amazing. From the management to the players, it was a special night and it’s the type of thing that we want to do for the rest of the season and create those types of atmosphere’s for the fans.
“The fans played their part. We knew we were playing against a top team and that they are going to come at you.
“They need to win. They’ve been doing poorly in the league last year and this year they’ve taken it into the Championship.
“We knew it was going to be tough in the first spell and we knew we had to ride it out. (We had) a bit of luck, (Villa) hit the woodwork a few times and then we scored, came into the game and there only looked like one winner really.”
Hatters’ Achilles heel of failing to win after conceding the first goal appears well and truly over now too, as after beating Oxford in a similar scenario last season, the first time they went behind this term, they showed no signs of panicking, storming back to go through.
McGeehan continued: “We’ve got a lot more belief now with the gaffer coming in. We believe that we can go a long way this season and do something special.
“That belief is there and if we go a goal down it’s good practice to get back in it, and that’s what we’ve done. Hopefully we can continue that because there are times when you’re going to go a goal down if we start sloppy or teams come at you.
“We’re a fit team. Jared (Roberts-Smith – head of sports science) has been top notch in pre-season. He’s run us hard, done a lot of gym work and it has been a more measured approach. That’s paid dividends. We’re fit, we’re strong, we’re young and we’ve got a lot of energy. I think you saw that.”
“We’ve got a lot more belief now with the gaffer coming in. We believe that we can go a long way this season and do something special.”Cameron McGeehan
The way in which Hatters outplayed their opponents, who had a number of established Premier League players in their ranks, was a joy to witness too, none more so than when Jake Gray tucked home a delightful move involving Jack Marriott, McGeehan and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu.
On the equaliser, the midfielder said: “It was a really good passing move and that’s what we’re looking to do. The manager has been instilling that into us and it showed. Hopefully we can put a few more team goals like that together.”
McGeehan was also on target himself, following up his tally of 14 goals last term with an opening strike, timing his run perfectly to tap home after Marriott’s shot rebounded into his path.
He said: “We ran them down into the ground, really. Jack had a few good chances and he could have scored with the one I scored.
“Luckily it fell to me and I’m making a knack of being in the right place at the right time. It fell to me nicely and it was an easy one to put in the net.”
The icing on the cake was then applied by Villa defender Jores Okore, who had a hugely difficult evening against Danny Hylton and under little pressure, put Olly Lee’s cross into his own net.
McGeehan added: “He had a bit of a tough night. That was from the pressure we put on them as a team. We look to play high-intensity and that put pressure on them the whole game.”