Moncur understands why he was left out by Hatters boss Jones

Hatters match-winner George Moncur admitted he had no qualms with Luton boss Graeme Jones for leaving him out of the side so far this season.

By Mike Simmonds
Sunday, 8th December 2019, 12:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 12:54 pm
George Moncur celebrates his winner against Wigan yesterda
George Moncur celebrates his winner against Wigan yesterda

The 26-year-old hadn't featured for the club in the Championship since September 21, the 3-0 home defeat against Hull City, not even included on the bench in recent weeks.

However, injuries to Izzy Brown and Brendan Galloway meant he was back among the substitutes for yesterday's clash with Wigan Athletic, replacing Andrew Shinnie on the hour mark, as he proved to be the hero, scoring Town's stoppage time winner.

Asked about his time out of the side, Moncur said: “It’s just football, the way it is.

George Moncur gets a hug from Luton boss Graeme Jones

"I love the manager, I love what he’s done here, he’s been superb and even though I haven’t played, he’s always spoken to me which is good.

“It’s always nice to know you’re part of the team even if you haven’t been playing, so fair play to him, and he’s doing a really good job.

"It’s tough, when you’re in a football team and a football club and it's really good and you love it here, it’s hard when you’re not playing.

“I always believe in the lord’s timing as well and glory to him for everything.

"Every time I get a chance I give it to him and I thank him for it, as if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be playing football.

"So that’s a massive part for me because when football isn’t going so well, I've always got that to go back to.

“It’s just always been about the defensive side which I know I’ve got to knuckle down with, as like he’s told me, you can have all the ability in the world, but if you’re not going to do that then there’s no place for you anywhere.

"At the top level you need to work hard off the ball and it’s always been a case with me, I’ve never really to do that in the teams I’ve played and it’s just a new thing that I’ve got to learn.

“So I understand his decision to leave me out and I understand what I’ve got to do to try and stay in the team, so I know what I’ve got to do.”

On what he is doing to improve the defensive aspect of his game behind the scenes, Moncur continued: “I’ve had a few chats with the coaches but it’s more about myself, just changing my mindset, instead of thinking 'what can I do with the ball,' it’s more thinking 'what can I do without it now.'

“So I’m just going to try and keep working on that really and see how far I can get as you need it to play at the top level.

“I know I’m decent, a good player on the ball, it’s just about changing my mindset to the other side because I’ve never done it.

"I'm just trying to learn it, where I’ve got to be, what sort of space I’ve got to run in for defenders when they’ve got the ball at the back and different positions.

"I’ve been played left and number 10, so it’s a new thing, it’s going to take time especially when I've not done it before, but I'm sure if I can keep going with it then I'll get better.

“With me its mental, because I think I’m pretty fit when I play, it’s just the mindset, changing, switching to when you haven’t got the ball.

"I’ve got to switch on, as I used to think, ‘oh can I get the ball back’, now I’m trying to think 'what’s my position, where do I need to be,' so I can help the players out as well.”

The former West Ham and Barnsley midfielder doesn’t believe it will take anything from the attacking side of his game though, saying: "I don’t think so, as if you’ve got ability, you’ll never lose that.

"So if I can just get that to my game, then I’m going to improve as a player all round.”

The midfielder knows it will tough to do so in his second crack at the Championship as well, having played at this level for former club Barnsley.

He said: “Last year, League One, make no two ways about it, it’s much easier to play in.

“Even last year I didn’t really have a defensive mindset, I started the season at the same sort of level in the mind.

"Me, now I realise what I’ve got to do, it’s a step up, definitely harder in the Championship, so I’ve just got to carry on."

Moncur was getting his chance in the Town side after Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown suffered a serious hamstring injury during the 7-0 defeat at Brentford last weekend.

It meant that places would be up for grabs going into yesterday's encounter, although Moncur knows losing the former England youth international was a blow for the side.

He added: "It’s not nice when you lose some players.

"Izzy's been quality, I think he’s a great player and he’s a lovely lad, we get on really well.

"When you lose a player like that in terms of my position you sort of think you’ve got a chance, but he’s a great player and he’s been superb so far.

"There’s a chance there when he’s not there, but you need him as he’s a quality player."