LuaLua: Hatters have enough quality for the Championship

Kazenga LuaLua on the ball against Barnsley at the weekend
Kazenga LuaLua on the ball against Barnsley at the weekend

Attacker Kazenga LuaLua is confident the Hatters squad has what it takes to be able to handle the step up to the Championship this term.

The 28-year-old was one of only a handful of players in the Luton side that won League One who had experienced life in the second tier of English football, during his time with Brighton, Sunderland and QPR.

Manager Graeme Jones sought to rectify that in the summer by bolstering his squad with a number of new signings who were all well versed to life in the Championship, as LuaLua said: “We have a lot of quality players in the squad.

“You’ve seen it from last season, we have such a good squad.

"I know a lot of the boys haven’t played much Championship football, but there’s so much quality, you can see it.

“You can see it in the previous games as well.

“Obviously, experience is important, but if you have quality I don’t see why you can’t handle the Championship.”

Jones himself, although not new to this level, is a beginner in terms of first team management, having been an assistant to Roberto Martinez and Darren Moore earlier in his career.

He has already impressed LuaLua though, the winger saying: “Each manager has got their own style but I love working with him (Jones), like I did working for Mick (Harford) and Nathan Jones.

“I’m enjoying it, it’s been good so far.

“We do respect him a lot. He’s not been in the top teams for no reason.

“He’s had a good career and obviously, this is his first job as a manager but as a coach he’s had a very good career.

“No job is easy but we’re enjoying working with him.

"You can ask all the boys, he’s been brilliant for us but we need to keep going.”

The Hatters secured a first Championship win at the fifth attempt on Saturday, with a 3-1 success at Barnsley.

LuaLua had a starring role, causing the home defence a huge problem and winning a large number of free kicks during his 81 minutes on the field.

He felt Town benefitted from a different set-up as well, moving the ball forward far quicker than they had done in any of their previous away games at Cardiff and Huddersfield.

LuaLua continued: “It was good to play, as it’s minutes under my belt.

“It’s my job to create something for the team and I don’t mind the full back fouled me all the time. I enjoyed it actually. It was a nice battle.

“That’s the way the gaffer wanted to play.

“Obviously, it’s a different style but you’ve got to know your job.

“For me, it doesn’t make any difference. I’m a winger, Harry’s (Cornick) a winger and we need to create something for the team and it’s what we did.

“It was nice. Your first win of the season is always important, especially the last few weeks, we’ve been playing well but just been so unlucky not to kill the game.

“We came here and saw the game out and I think we deserved to win.”

LuaLua was close to opening his own account for the season, but wasn’t fussed that he couldn’t quite manage to, adding: “I know the goals will come but the most important thing is the team and the three points.

"The most important thing is it’s the team first and then worry about your own performance.

"It doesn’t matter who scores, but whoever scores we’re all happy, so we were delighted."