No tears this time as Pelly targets promotion
Midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu is praying that he won't be left shedding any tears for the Hatters this season.
After last campaign finished in abject disappointment, with Luton knocked out of the play-offs in the final seconds of injury time to Blackpool, the 23-year-old admitted his emotions almost got the better of him.
However, seeing the improvements that boss Nathan Jones has made to the squad since, Mpanzu is confident any tears this time, will be those of pure joy.
He said: “It did hurt for a while, I nearly cried, but we need to get over it and hopefully this season, no crying and we can get promoted.
“The gaffer has brought in top class people, people from the Championship, like Macca (Alan McCormack), (Andrew) Shinnie from Scotland, so competition for places is great.
“It can only can aid us and push us more and more in training and games.
“The play-offs as you saw last year was very hurtful, so even if we don’t finish as champions, top three is the main thing for us and hopefully we can achieve that.”
Mpanzu wants to play a full part in seeing Town earning that goal this season, by becoming more of a regular on the scoresheet from midfield.
He managed two goals last season, but has only found the net seven times in his three years at Kenilworth Road, a stat he is determined to improve.
The midfielder was on target against former side Boreham Wood recently and on his strike, he said: “He’s (Nathan Jones) been on at me every single day in training, so it was good to start off with a goal.
“Hopefully I can get more during the season.”
It’s an aspect that boss Nathan Jones knows he can work on too, saying: “There’s things Pelly has to improve on in terms of the way he plays and how he is, but we’re developing a wonderful footballer there.
“We now need him to focus on his concentration levels and decision making.”
Mpanzu is now aiming to build on his best season yet in a Hatters shirt, as he played 52 times in total for the club, never once breaking down with injuries that had previously blighted his time with Luton.
He knows it will be tough to replicate with the extra competition, adding: “It’s the gaffer’s decision to see who plays but hopefully I can get as much games as I can and promotion is a must for us.
“We’ve just got to keep focusing game by game and we can achieve that come beginning of May.”