No free wedding for Hatters keeper Sluga but Jones still quick to praise Croatian international during Leeds draw

Town stopper makes a superb double save in Elland Road draw

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 11:41 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 11:42 am
Simon Sluga launches himself into the air at Elland Road last night
Simon Sluga launches himself into the air at Elland Road last night

Although Luton boss Nathan Jones won’t be out of pocket paying for keeper Simon Sluga’s wedding now, he still labelled the keeper as ‘superb’ during last night’s 1-1 draw with Championship leaders Leeds United.

The Town chief had promised to pay for the Croatian international’s big day in the summer if he had followed up his shut out at Swansea on Saturday with a clean sheet at Elland Road on Tuesday evening.

It looked like Jones might have to foot the bill after Sluga made a superb double save from Kalvin Phillips' free-kick and then Ezgjan Alioski's follow up, but the 27-year-old will now have to cough up himself after Stuart Dallas slotted into the bottom corner with 63 minutes gone to cancel out Harry Cornick's opener.

However, on Sluga's confident display, the stopper putting his early season struggles well and truly behind him now, beaten just four times in his last six outings, Jones said: “He’s been wonderful since I’ve come in and he was superb today.

“The only one who’ll be delighted with that goal is my wife, but to be fair, he’s been superb and you need your keeper when you come to Elland Road.

"No-one comes here and keeps them shut out.

“There'll be Premier League clubs that will come here that will concede, I promise you that as they're a well drilled, excellent side with talent, so I'm delighted and proud of that performance.”

When the goal did come, it was a clever pass into the area from Alioski that beat the stretch Sonny Bradley for the unmarked Dallas to take a touch confidently beat Sluga.

Jones admitted a sense of real frustration over the manner of the leveller, adding: "It was ironic as we were just about to make a change to be a little more solid and deny them space in wide areas.

"We couldn't do the sub quick enough and then Alioski fed the ball in from the position we wanted to stop, so it was really, really disappointing as a minute there and they probably wouldn't have scored the goal.

"But it's undoubtedly a fair result, Leeds had the majority of the game, but I felt the commitment, the organisation, the desire to get a result was magnificent."