Times have changed for long-serving Hatter Pelly

Town's longest serving player Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu believes that the club is in a completely different place to when he first joined back in November 2013.

Friday, 20th April 2018, 10:32 am
Updated Friday, 20th April 2018, 10:36 am
Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu is Town's longest serving player
Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu is Town's longest serving player

Then aged 20, Mpanzu was brought in on loan from West Ham United by former boss John Still and made his debut against Staines Town in the FA Trophy alongside the likes of David Viana, Arnaud Mendy and Tinashe Chabata.

He recently made it 150 appearances for Luton in the 3-0 win at Yeovil, and when asked how the place has altered, Mpanzu said: “It’s changed a lot, players come and go, managers come and go and we’ve got different facilities now, with the training ground.

“I’ve been through the highs and lows, now we’re on a high, the main thing is to get to League One and see from there.”

Mpanzu reached his milestone later than he would have liked, as after starting the first nine league games of the season, he then began just two in the following six months.

However, he was back in the side for the win over Mansfield and followed that up with another fine display during Saturday’s 3-1 win over Crewe.

He continued: “I’ve been out of the team, I could have played more this year, but it’s been a while since I’ve been in, so I’ve got to keep going,

“The gaffer said I need to have some consistency, I can’t have one game a wonder and the next game not good.

“So I’ve had to keep that consistency, thankfully I’ve been doing that.”

With Town now having five players on more than 100 games for the club, Scott Cuthbert, Olly Lee, Glen Rea and Alan Sheehan, boss Nathan Jones is finally getting the longevity within the squad he craves.

He added: “Continuity is key but if you recruit the right ones and then they do well when they play, that’s what creates real quality continuity.

“What we don’t want to be doing is changing the squad.

“Since I’ve come in there’s been a massive turnover of players. We identified ones we can take forward and they’re here, Pelly, Scott Cuthbert, Dan Potts, Olly Lee, those are the ones. The young ones that were here we’ve developed, and then we believe we’ve recruited well.

“Now not everyone will stay, but if we can keep the majority, 80 per cent of the squad together long term and keep tweaking it and adding quality, improving it so that we keep moving forward, then that’s what we want to do.

“Continuity is key and they are big players for us and have been big players. They’ve been magnificent for me and magnificent for the club, so it’s a good thing.”