Hatters defender took plenty from Foxes defeat in midweek

Town defender Matty Pearson
Town defender Matty Pearson

Hatters defender Matty Pearson felt like he learned plenty from Town’s Carabao Cup defeat to Leicester City on Tuesday night, despite not actually making it on to the pitch.

The 26-year-old was an unused substitute for a clash which Luton lost 4-0, with manager Graeme Jones saying afterwards he had learned a lot about his side’s defensive capabilities during the contest.

When asked if he had done so to from his watching brief on the bench, Peason said: “Yes, I probably did.

“I’ve been playing the majority of the games, so I haven’t really watched us play from the side, and it just gives you a different view compared to when you’re playing.

“When you’re playing, you think certain things and when you’re not playing, it gives you a different angle and the emotion of the game is not controlling what you think.

“I took quite a lot from watching the Leicester game and in general I think the lads did well for 35 minutes.

“If they could have held on until half time, then anything could have happened, so I learnt a lot.”

Town chief Jones was pleased to hear that Pearson had picked up some added knowledge from the encounter, and hoped it was the same for centre half partner Sonny Bradley too.

He said: “That was the intention, I only wanted to use Matty if I had to.

“Sonny, I wanted to get some training into him and I wanted Sonny to sit back and have a look at the game.

“You do find a different perspective, certainly when you’re sitting in the stand, but I think the best example was to look at Leicester City and how they went about their business.

“I can think of basics of the game that they did so well, they were 4-0 up and they had 11 players defending their own defensive third.

“So it was impressive from a learning curve if you looked at Leicester City as an example, but we’ll find out on Saturday how important it was.”

Jones used extensive video analysis from the tie with his squad in training to go through both positives and negatives that he discovered from the 90 minutes, something he has done after every game this term

It was something that Pearson believes is crucial in the modern games, as he said: “Even under the old manager (Nathan Jones) we did exactly the same, set-pieces, their patterns of play, what they do a lot, so it’s nothing new.

“I think it’s maybe a little more in-depth now we’ve gone up a level, but in general I think most clubs will go through analysis of teams and show their strengths and weaknesses.

“If you know their strengths and weaknesses, it’s only going to work in your favour.

“If you know what they’re going to do, it makes it a lot easier for you.

"So that’s what we do as a team, we go through it and everyone points out little bits that may affect how the game goes, or what they do a lot of, what we need to be aware of and we structure our performance on how they’re going to play.”

When asked just what he had picked up in particular from Jones’ methods though, Pearson said: “The fine detail. Maybe in League One you get away with little things, maybe the smallest of things.

“If you’re slightly out of position, or if your pass is not 100 per cent accurate, you’ll get away with it.

“Coming up this league, he’s making it clear that we all know the fine details are the margins of them scoring a goal, so it’s got to be perfect.

"If you’re not perfect then the players are that good at this level, then you’re going to get exploited and they will score goals.”

This is now Pearson’s second crack at the Championship after playing 17 times for Barnsley during the 2017-18 season before leaving Oakwell for Kenilworth Road last summer.

On whether the level has altered this time round, he said: “It’s not changed, I just think in the Championship, they’ve got quality players who, give them space, give them time, give them the freedom to do what they want, they will hurt you.

“Whereas maybe in League One, players miss the target, in this league, they don’t miss, it’s as simple as that.

"If they’re given the time and space, they generally score goals.

“I think we’ve got quality as well though, we’ve scored a lot of goals and quite a lot of them have been quality goals.

“I don’t think we’ve scraped a goal and I think we in general have got quality players.”