Jones insists there’s no extra pressure on Hatters forward Adebayo this season

Town striker expected to be Hatters’ leading man

Saturday, 7th August 2021, 12:08 pm
Elijah Adebayo celebrates scoring against Portsmouth in pre-season

Town chief Nathan Jones doesn’t believe there is any extra pressure on striker Elijah Adebayo this season despite the departure of Hatters’ long time leading scorer James Collins.

The 30-year-old had finished as Luton’s top marksman for the last three seasons, reaching double figures in all four of his campaigns at Kenilworth Road, bagging 72 goals in 183 appearances.

With his contract up though, Collins opted to join Cardiff City in the summer, leaving Adebayo as Town’s expected main man up front this term, in what is just his fourth full season as a pro and his first at this level.

The former Fulham striker caught the eye straight away last term when joining from Walsall on deadline day, scoring five goals in 18 appearances during his first go at the Championship, as on whether there is more onus on him going into Town’s third season at this level, Jones said: “He won’t have any more pressure on him than what we put on him ourselves.

“Last year we held him back slightly until the right time, and then when we did put him in he came out like a caged lion and that’s what was brilliant.

“Now he’s got to make sure he keeps that aggression, he keeps all the things he did well and then add in certain things we’ve worked on.
“He’s developing into a wonderful player, we’re not putting any more pressure on him, but he want him to perform for us.”

With Luton scoring just 41 times in the league last season, then a real focus of Jones’ summer signings has been to up their quality in the final third, bringing in the experienced Cameron Jerome and youngster Admiral Muskwe to add competition to the striking berths.

He has also added Carlos Mendes Gomes, Fred Onyedinma and Henri Lansbury to the creative ranks as well, saying: It’s something we want to improve on as without losing our defensive stability, we wanted to be a bit more front footed and we wanted to add athleticism.

“We know what we earmarked six months ago was pace, power, a bit more athleticism, coupled with quality and we managed to achieve that.

“We had a real good window for that, we lost real stalwarts to the club, we’ve got to make sure we replaced that in the environment and on the pitch and then we’ve added an attacking prowess to us definitely.
“Coupled with what we had in the building, what we’ve added, we feel we have goals in us.

“I don’t think we’ve ever been a negative side.

“Since day one, we walked in the door, we’ve always tried to win football matches, we’ve won football matches with big scorelines at times, but especially in the Championship we’ve had to grind out results.

“We’ve had some special days in terms of the Championship, Norwich at home, Watford, Preston, where we scored lots of goals and we have to try and recreate that.

“But it’s all a work in progress, we’re trying to develop and enhance us every single game.

“We believe we’ve done that, so now it’s the test to see if we have.”