Sluga tipped to be a 'top keeper' by Town boss

Simon Sluga keeps a watchul eye on proceedings against West Bromwich Albion
Simon Sluga keeps a watchul eye on proceedings against West Bromwich Albion

Town stopper Simon Sluga has been backed to become a ‘top goalkeeper’ in the Championship for the Hatters by boss Graeme Jones.

The club record signing, who cost over €1.5million when arriving from HNK Rijeka in the summer has conceded seven goals in his first three games, and is still awaiting his first clean sheet of the campaign.

Sluga, a Croatian international, was beaten from range by West Brom substitute Grady Diangana on Saturday, the on-loan Hammers youngster arrowing into the bottom corner from 25 yards, before the half time substitute headed home from close range moments later.

Jones has been impressed by Sluga’s efforts between the posts so far though, saying: “If you can imagine us now going to Croatia and learning a different language, and a different style of play, living in a hotel – all those challenges, all those variables – I think he’s coped with it extremely well and he’s given us a good level.

“I think he has the equipment to be an outstanding goalkeeper, and with the two goalkeeper coaches – Kevin (Dearden) and Imanol (Etxeberria) – I think eventually he’ll be a top goalkeeper in the Championship for Luton Town.”

Sluga has adopted the sweeper keeper role during Luton’s Championship outings so far, giving centre halves Sonny Bradley and Matty Pearson options with Town looking to play out from the back where possible.

Ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Sheffield Wednesday, Jones continued: “He’s lightning quick as well, as the style of your goalkeeper dictates how your back four can play.

“If he’s a bit of a liner, then maybe you’ll have to play a bit deeper, and as I’ve said, I love Simon’s equipment, but he has to settle with the English game and understand it.

“I think Sheffield Wednesday will be a different test to West Bromwich Albion, who were a very different test to Cardiff, and that’s not easy for anybody, whether you’re British or Croatian – that’s the period he’s in as well, but so far so good.”