Hard work is paying off for in-form Marriott

Jack Marriott goes close against Crewe on Saturday

Jack Marriott goes close against Crewe on Saturday

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Striker Jack Marriott is thrilled to see the fruits of his labour are starting to pay off once more after he played a starring role in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Crewe Alexandra.

The 22-year-old was Town’s brightest spark in the first period at Gresty Road, going close on a number of occasions until he beat Ben Garratt at his near post on the stroke of half time.

Although the keeper should have undoubtedly done better, it was Marriott’s sixth goal in seven games and took him to nine for the season, already one ahead of his tally at this stage last term, a campaign he eventually finished with 16 goals to his name.

The forward, who had been dropped for the recent games against Barnet and Portsmouth, said: “I’ve caught it well and that sort of tight angle, the keepers almost don’t expect it, especially if it’s low and hard and around their feet.

“It can be difficult but it has gone in the back of the net and that’s all I really care about.

“I know I’ve played more games than I did last year and it has been difficult, but I feel I’m back to my best.

Town boss Nathan Jones gives striker Jack Marriott the thumbs up

Town boss Nathan Jones gives striker Jack Marriott the thumbs up

“I’ve improved a lot of aspects of my game, I’m constantly working hard and I’m starting to see a few of the rewards.

“I do feel quite good. I’m really enjoying my football at the moment and long may that continue.

“As a striker, you want to score goals, especially after scoring goals last year. I wanted to really build a bit more of a reputation this year. To surpass where I was this time last year is very pleasing.”

On the goal, boss Nathan Jones said: “When he gets it, he’s got that low centre of gravity and he rifles them low and hard, right near the keeper.

I’ve improved a lot of aspects of my game, I’m constantly working hard and I’m starting to see a few of the rewards.

Jack Marriott

“They’re difficult to save, it’s a talent that the boy’s got.”

Marriott had been called upon by Jones to spearhead Luton’s attack in the Checkatrade Trophy tie with Chesterfield in the week beforehand.

It was the striker’s first appearance in the competition this term, but he netted two clinical strikes to make the most of his opportunity.

Marriott continued: “The gaffer wanted me to play and get some minutes.

“He said, ‘go out and do the business’ and I thought that I just had to do my best, see if it can get me in the team for Saturday and it has, so it was good.

“That’s always the aim for anyone in the squad to be in that starting 11 and hopefully I can keep working hard and keep being named on the teamsheet.”

The former Ipswich forward, who now has 25 goals in 72 games for the Hatters, praised strike partner’s Danny Hylton and Craig Mackail-Smith for their help in getting him back to his best on the pitch too.

On what he’s learned from the pair, Marriott added: “Loads. The relentlessness that he (Hylton) shows, and it’s the same with Macca, when he plays.

“All our strikers are relentless, we don’t stop and Hylts is off the cuff, he’s clever and he produces bits of magic.

“He is just fantastic to play with, but you’re constantly learning.

“He’s 27, he’s five years older than me and he’s got a lot more experience. So it’s always, always good to learn from him.”