No more sleepless nights for Adebayo as he admits being affected by off-field problems before finally lifting the 'dark cloud' hanging over him with Terriers brace

Town striker Elijah Adebayo looks to the heavens after scoring for the Hatters against HuddersfieldTown striker Elijah Adebayo looks to the heavens after scoring for the Hatters against Huddersfield
Town striker Elijah Adebayo looks to the heavens after scoring for the Hatters against Huddersfield
Striker praises Hatters manager Jones for sticking by him this season

Luton striker Elijah Adebayo was left with a huge sense of relief to finally lift the ‘dark cloud’ that had been hanging over him, plus end the ‘sleepless nights’ he had been enduring after finally getting back on the scoresheet with a brace against Huddersfield Town last night, as he apologised to Hatters fans about his performances so far, despite admitting some off the field issues had been affecting his ability to reach his best.

The forward, who has been a revelation since signing from Walsall in February 2021, scored five goals in the second half of the season, before notching an impressive haul of 17 last term as he finished as the club’s top scorer.

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However, he hadn’t found the net in any of his 11 appearances so far this time round, a barren run stretching back to April 23, looking a shadow of the player who had terrified Championship defences in his first full campaign.

With manager Nathan Jones looking for someone to partner Carlton Morris, Adebayo was given every opportunity, with nine starts, but hadn’t been able to show the signs of someone who was linked with a Premier League move when flying last season.

In fact, the forward never really threatened to find the net before hitting the bar against Hull on Friday night from a clever corner routine, the rebound turned in by home defender Alfie Jones.

Buoyed by that, his luck was finally to change last night when the Terriers were in town, as he scored twice in the first half, although the Hatters were eventually held to a 3-3 draw.

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Speaking openly and honestly about his difficulties so far this season, Adebayo said: “I’m delighted, it’s been tough in the last couple of weeks and from the beginning of the season, but in our team you’re always going to get chances.

"It’s just about keep going and, eventually, when they come, you’ve just got to take them.

“I’ve been edging closer and closer and I’m just happy to get two.

“I said the same thing to Harry Cornick about last year, I scored on the first day last year and then as the games go on this season, it’s like a dark cloud and eventually you’ve just got to keep going and you’ll get chances.

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“Once one goes in then you know, okay cool, you can relax and go and get more now, that’s what it is for me, it’s just about carrying on.

“For me, I wasn’t myself in training and how you train in the week is how you’re portrayed on a Saturday and for me I wasn’t training properly.

“I just didn’t feel like myself during training, that obviously pushed out towards the games.

“I’ve had so many sleepless nights over the last couple of weeks as I know I can score goals, it’s just the fact they weren’t falling for me.

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"They said if you work hard the opportunities will come and I feel like the last two weeks especially in training I’ve been going right at it and I feel like the luck has fallen for me today.

“You can beat yourself up as much as you want, but you’ve got to do the work in training and then you get your rewards on a Saturday.

“I’ve had a few things away from football that have gone on in my life.

“It’s difficult, it’s hard to not try to portray that on to the pitch. They’re (fans) not going to know what’s going on.

“It’s just apologies, I wasn’t in the right frame of mind.

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"I feel so much better now and I’m just ready to continue the season and I look forward to Saturday.”

Having the international break was a huge thing for Adebayo too, as he felt spending some time away from the pressures of football was just what he required, continuing: “I’m an honest person and I know I’ve not been at it for the last couple of weeks, but I think the international break came at a good time for me.

“It gave me time to reset, do a lot of work without having a game and then get myself ready for the games coming up.

“I went to go and see some people who I lived with when I was at my previous club and it’s kind of just a reminder to me of where I’ve come from and it was a reset for my brain.

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“I just didn't really think about football, just enjoyed my weekend with them and then I came into training and I just felt better, mentally I felt in a better place and it was just a reset for me and I was ready to go.

“It was nothing massive, but for me that’s big for me, just going to see them and spending time with them.

“I think Hull and today, I’ve looked more like myself and I just want to continue that for the rest of the season now.”

Adebayo was also eager to praise manager Nathan Jones for the manner in which he has handled his struggles off the pitch this season, and his lack of goals on it.

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With a double taking his tally to 25 goals in 71 appearances, the former Fulham youngster now hopes he can return to the version that both his boss and the Hatters supporters saw last term.

He said: “The gaffer’s been really good with me, in terms of telling me, ‘just keep going’.

“He’s given me days when I need to, and he just wanted me to be right back at it.

“The international break was good for me. It gave me a chance to clear my head, go away, really work hard and come back firing.

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“He (Nathan Jones) just said, ‘listen, I want the Elijah that I had last year.’

"I said, ‘I feel much, much better after the break and I’m ready to give it another good go.’

“He’s been fantastic. He knows I’ve been having a tough time, but he still puts me in there because he knows that days like today can come around and I can be how I was.

“This is how I’m going to carry on being for the rest of the season.

"I feel better. I feel, basically, more like myself now.”

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With Jones having stuck by his man, Adebayo was also quick to praise Town’s supporters and his team-mates for doing just that too, adding: “As well as the fans, my team-mates have been phenomenal with me for the last however many weeks.

“Everyone’s put an arm around me to say, ‘listen, you’re a goalscorer, that’s what you’ve done, it’s going to happen, don’t think about it too much.’

“All of them have been, even Carlton, who’s been on fire, he’s put his arm around me and said, ‘listen you’re going to score sooner or later’.

"It’s been good and I’m just delighted the fans got to see me score, and it was at home as well.”