Stacey: Bantams triumph was the mark of champions

Match-winner Jack Stacey believes that Luton's 1-0 win at Bradford City on Tuesday night was the hallmark of a team looking to win the League One title this season.

Thursday, 14th March 2019, 9:26 am
Updated Thursday, 14th March 2019, 9:46 am
Jack Stacey scores the winner at Bradford on Tuesday night

Stacey scored the only goal of the game on 16 minutes to make it 24 games unbeaten in the Football League for the Hatters and move Town five points ahead of Barnsley and nine in front of Sunderland, who drew 0-0 at Oakwell.

The right back said: “We said before the game, this is where Championships are won, away at Bradford in these conditions, it’s a massive three points.

“We saw Barnsley and Sunderland were playing each other, so we're going to gain points there, one-nil like Sonny (Bradley) says, is the perfect result.”

It was Stacey himself who clinched all three points, finishing off a wonderful move that saw Andrew Shinnie slip him through to coolly beat Richard O’Donnell.

He continued: "We knew there was a lot of space out wide for me and JJ (James Justin) when teams match us up in the diamond.

“So we tried to switch it as much as we could, we were quite good at that in the first half and Shins, he always seems to find me.

“When he gets on the ball, you can make the run and know that the ball is going to find you, so he's been amazing this season.”

Town had plenty of chances to increase their lead in the first period, while Danny Hylton headed over early in the second half as well.

After that, they were put under some pressure from the hosts, although keeper James Shea once more didn’t have a great deal to do.

It meant that the Hatters picked up a third successive clean sheet, which Stacey knew the importance of, saying: “We said at half time that we had to be clinical.

"We were 1-0 up, but Bradford since the new manager has come in, they’ve been dangerous, they've been a good side.

“They had a good result at the weekend, so we knew that we wanted to take our chance, in the end we didn’t get another one to take, but we defended resolutely and kept a clean sheet.

“We couldn’t create as much as we’d like to as they had a lot of the ball and they played well.

“Sometimes you have to sit back and defend at times as teams are going to have spells in games.

"Sonny and Matty (Pearson) will say that’s the most important thing to keep clean sheets, me and JJ (James Justin) we get forward, but we have to do our bit defensively as well.

“To have as many clean sheets as we have, I think that’s what a Championship winning team is built on.”

Town’s win was celebrated passionately by players and supporters at the full time whistle, with Stacey paying tribute to those who had made the trip after a lengthy trek to Plymouth just four days earlier.

He added: “We’ve had to travel a lot, but the fans turn up in their numbers, they’ve had to do Plymouth away and now Bradford away, midweek.

“It’s brilliant, it helps the team, spurs us on and we want to give back to them for supporting us so well.

“It’s a really enjoyable time though, you see the type of calibre of player that’s on the bench and not in the squad, but still everyone’s in the changing room supporting each other and celebrating.

“There’s not one person you can say is a bad egg in the changing room, everyone is enjoying it and all in it together.”