Naismith urges Town's star man Adebayo not to beat himself up too much over missed chances

Luton striker destined for the top according to team-mate

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 11:27 am
Elijah Adebayo looks to get forward against Bournemouth on Saturday
Elijah Adebayo looks to get forward against Bournemouth on Saturday

Luton defender Kal Naismith has urged leading scorer Elijah Adebayo not to be too hard on himself when it comes to 'beating himself up' over missed opportunities.

The forward has notched 11 goals so far this season, including 10 in the Championship, as he has quickly become one of the most feared attackers in the second tier.

Adebayo hasn't really fluffed a great number of chances yet either, bar one glaring miss at Bournemouth from a few yards out, plus seeing his penalty saved by Nottingham Forest keeper Brice Samba, as he is usually fairly lethal when within range of the opposition's goal.

When discussing what he's like off the pitch, Naismith said: “He’s absolutely brilliant, like all our players, a young lad who doesn’t get ahead of himself, comes in, wants to work hard.

“He beats himself up, all the chats me and Elijah have, is me just saying 'you need to stop beating yourself up,' as that’s his only negative point.

“He’s just too hard on himself and that can be a good thing, it can be a bad thing.

“That’s the demands he puts on himself, if he misses a chance it eats him up for a minute, two minutes, three, four, and I think top, top ones are just 'bang, that’s done,' you forget about it and go again.

“That’s mostly what I say to him, but everything else, around the place as a lad, the boys love him.

"His attitude is second to none, and he’s constantly just trying to improve.”

Adebayo took another step in his education on Saturday when facing hugely experienced Cherries defender Gary Cahill, who has over 50 England caps to his name, also Premier League and Champions League winner with Chelsea.

He was given a torrid time by both Town's top scorer and strike partner Cameron Jerome though, as Luton emerged 3-2 victors, with Naismith knowing first hand just how difficult it is to go up against the former Fulham youngster.

He continued: “Gary Cahill, what a player, the boy (Lloyd) Kelly as well, he's going to probably be an unbelievable player, but Elijah’s just tough when he’s on it in training.

“It’s horrible, I hate it when he's not on my team doing small-sided games and I look and I’ve got a bib on and he’s not, or I’m trying to mark him.

"If you try and get tight, he’s so strong, he’ll hurt you, if you don’t get tight, he’s good with the ball at his feet, he’s tough, he’s some player.”

It was Adebayo who had helped put Town on their way, when controlling Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu's cross that had been flicked on by Sonny Bradley, his shot was saved by Mark Travers, only to rebound off Kelly and over the line for his second successive own goal against the Hatters.

The score of Luton's second goal, Allan Campbell, continued: "That’s what he’s good at, he’s brilliant up there, he’s been great for us this year, getting the ball up to him.

"He’s strong, powerful and he scores goals, so it's good to see him get that shot away.

"It was an own goal, but he’s getting in the right areas and I’m sure he’ll score more."

With just over a week left of the transfer window there will undoubtedly be more speculation linking Adebayo with a move away from Kenilworth Road.

Boss Nathan Jones has already warned any interested sides they will need to pay top dollar if they are thinking about a potential deal for the 23-year-old, with it making no sense for the club to sell regardless.

Naismith believes that although the forward is more than capable of playing in the top flight, staying put would be the best for both him and the Hatters.

He added: "He’s at an unbelievable place.

"He knows what the club has done bringing him in, giving him the opportunity to play games and he knows how much he’s loved here and it’s just an unbelievable place to play.

"Everyone wants to play at the highest level, that’s everyone's dream, but he’s at an unbelievable place, he’s got an unbelievable manager, got players that love him, respect him, try to play to his strengths and he’ll get there, if he just keeps playing the way he is.

“There’s no advice really, just train well, play well and go on to the next game.

"Make sure you give us your all, if not, we’ll keep demanding for you and be on your back and then do the same, keep repeating it.

"Whatever his career path is will take care of itself, he’s here at the minute and playing so well, he’s an unbelievable player so rightly a lot of people are talking about him.

"But he’s got a lot to accomplish here first, before moving on I think.”