Naismith: I couldn't have been happier to see Danny Hylton bag the winner against Derby

Town defender full of praise for his team-mate for staying positive during injury problems

By Mike Simmonds
Friday, 4th March 2022, 1:56 pm
Updated Friday, 4th March 2022, 3:32 pm
Danny Hylton's goal was enough for Luton to beat Derby County at the weekend
Danny Hylton's goal was enough for Luton to beat Derby County at the weekend

Luton’s match-winner during Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Derby County at weekend couldn’t have been a more deserving one according to defender Kal Naismith.

With 23 minutes to go and the scores goalless, a long ball by Naismith was nodded down by Cameron Jerome for a certain Danny Hylton lurking just outside the box.

A few touches and angled drive later, and the ball was nestling in the bottom corner of the net, as the forward was off celebrating his first goal at Kenilworth Road in almost three years with the thrilled home supporters,

It proved to be the deciding strike, as the Rams were unable to find an equaliser, Luton making it three wins in a row for the first time since they returned to the Championship.

Naismith, who has spent the past 13 months with Hylton after arriving on a free transfer in January 2021, said: “It was unbelievable, I couldn’t have been happier and it couldn’t have happened to a better guy.

"The past couple of weeks, all the players that play are the ones that get the credit but every day in the week we come in and Hylts has been so unlucky with injuries and little niggles that have kept him on the sidelines.

"Never once have I seen him negative, never once have I seen him down, he’s got a constant smile on his face, always picking everyone up, always there for everyone.

"When he does train he gives 100 per cent even when he doesn’t get opportunities.

"He’s a joy, a top professional and a great guy to be around.

"You saw him get the goal against Stoke and then against Derby and I was so delighted he’s making an impact on the pitch and the fans are getting behind him as they always have done.

"It’s so good to see.”

Hylton's goal on Saturday was his second in as many league games, having been on target during the 2-1 win at Stoke last Wednesday night.

Also on the scoresheet at the bet365 Stadium was experienced forward Cameron Jerome, who was notching for the second successive match.

It means that the Hatters have now had 13 different scorers in the Championship this term, which Naismith believes highlights the strength of the squad available to boss Nathan Jones.

He added: “We’ve got so many players that can impact a game, so many good players.

"You look at our bench and it’s scary, even lads that haven’t been featuring as much at the minute.

“But, for me, seeing Hylts and Cameron and how much they’ve affected games in the last month, is huge because that, more than anything, just sums up where we are as a club.

“How close the changing room is, the fact that these players haven’t featured as much as they’d have liked.

"They want to play every game but their attitudes are just top class.

“They work as hard as anyone and then they come in and make a massive impact.

"The last month shows where we’re at as a squad.

"It shows the other lads, who maybe haven’t impacted yet, or played the minutes they would’ve liked, that if they keep working the way these lads have done - Hylts is 33 and Cameron is 35 - that they’re going to impact the last few months of the season.

“I think it’s massive for the squad and I’m delighted for Cam and Hylts. It tells you how close knit we are."