Mpanzu could become 'some player' according to Hatters chief

Midfielder continues his remarkable run of Luton never losing when he has scored

By Mike Simmonds
Monday, 26th October 2020, 12:25 pm
Updated Monday, 26th October 2020, 12:54 pm
Midfielder Pelly Ruddock-Mpanzu celebrates his goal against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday
Midfielder Pelly Ruddock-Mpanzu celebrates his goal against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday

Hatters midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu could become ‘some player’ according to Town boss Nathan Jones if he can just add a touch more composure to his game.

The 26-year-old was Luton’s match-winner against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Saturday, picking up a loose ball once Rhys Norrington-Davies’ cross had been cleared to the edge of the area, taking a touch and then firing low into the bottom corner with 16 minutes to go.

Playing in a far more advanced role than previously, Mpanzu almost set up Danny Hylton for an goal within 30 seconds of the contest, but struggled with his control at times in the first half, seeing a number of moves break down.

He also had a wonderful chance to open the scoring in that opening 45 minutes, combining excellently with Elliot Lee to go clean through, before shooting wide with just Cameron Dawson to beat.

After the break, it was Mpanzu, playing his third game in a week, who showed impressive reserves of energy to get beyond Hylton and give Luton’s defence an out-ball, occupying the hosts’ defenders and get Town up the pitch to avoid being hemmed in, rewarded with his second goal of the season.

Speaking afterwards, Jones said: “I thought Pelly was excellent, apart from certain things.

"He could be better and crisper with his touch at times, his touch tackle at times and that’s when he has to relax.

“Because if he can get that into his game, that little bit of composure, we've got some player.”

With his 19th goal for the club on his 260th appearance, Mpanzu carried on a superb sequence as Town are yet to lose in the 18 matches games when he has found the net.

Jones continued: “I just wish he would score some more then!

“We’d like him to finish the first one so we can be a little bit more relaxed, so when he scores the second one, does brilliant, then we’re relatively comfortable.

“But we want him to show that composure, as it was a great run, great move, something we've worked on and that’s disappointing.

“I’m delighted though, I don't care who scores, I don't care, as long as we do, as three points was vital.”

New team-mate Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, who was making his debut after joining from Leicester City, paid tribute to Mpanzu for the manner in which he took his opportunity, especially after missing the earlier attempt.

He said: “It shows good character to miss a chance like that first half and then the composure to bring it down and score like that second half.

“We’re all happy he’s helped contribute to the three points and hopefully go on to Wednesday and get another three points.”

When asked whether Mpanzu had let that wasted opportunity affect him during the half-time interval, Dewsbury-Hall added: “Not really, we knew that the chances were going to come.

“Yes it was a good chance that he missed, but he knew that a chance could come up again and when it came, I thought he showed great composure to bring it down and hit it with his left foot.

“We’re just really happy to get the three points.”