Mpanzu insists Town have shown what they can do in the Championship

Long-serving midfielder points to final 20 minutes at the Hawthorns

Friday, 20th August 2021, 8:13 am
Updated Friday, 20th August 2021, 8:14 am
Hatters midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu challenges for the ball against West Bromwich Albion

Midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu insisted that Town showed just what they are capable of achieving in the Championship this term during the latter stages of Saturday’s 3-2 defeat against West Bromwich Albion.

Trailing 3-0 with 24 minutes of normal time remaining, Luton launched a brave fightback, scoring twice to almost force what would have been a highly unlikely point.

They took the momentum gained to then earn an excellent 1-0 victory over Barnsley in midweek, but speaking before the clash at Oakwell, Mpanzu said: “We’ve shown what we can do.

“It’s unfortunate we didn’t show we can do that for 90 minutes, but that’s the Championship, you can’t go to sleep and once it’s 3-0, its a real uphill battle.

“We were on top, Cam (Cameron Jerome) came on and did a great job up front, winning headers, we had Amari’i (Bell) pushing on, Pete (Kioso) defended well, putting balls into their box, Breesy (James Bree) was putting balls into the box.

“We’ve shown what we can do when we put teams under pressure, when we go long and get on second balls.

“That’s what we wanted to do from the first half, as the first half was not what we wanted to do.

“We know that we’ve got it within ourselves to do well, it’s tough to take, but it’s the Championship and we’ve got to go again.”

Mpanzu gave Town a real chance of getting something out of the game with his first goal of the season coming eight minutes into 16 minutes of stoppage time, caused by Jordan Clark’s nasty head injury.

Attacker Harry Cornick had got the ball rolling on 70 minutes with his second strike in as many games, netting from close range.

It means the forward has begun the term with real spring in his step after a previous campaign in which he took until April 25 to open his account.

Mpanzu added: “You know Harry last season it was a long time until he got his goal against Bristol away, so it’s great to see him on the scoresheet.

“He was in the right place, right time, Al’s (Allan Campbell) drove, shut down, he’s pressed well, Harry Cornick’s there to tuck it away and that was the start of our comeback, but we didn’t get the third goal that we needed.

“Everyone wants Harry to do well and when you don’t score as a striker, it’s always on your mind, it’s tough to get yourself going, but you’ve got to be mentally strong.

“He started the season with two goals and you can’t ask for any more, he’s worked his socks off and been congratulated with a goal."