Hatters forward Callum McManaman was pleased to once again make an impact from the bench as his 87th minute strike rescued a 1-1 draw against Preston North End yesterday.


McManaman replaced Izzy Brown in the 75th minute and produced a fantastic finish to beat Declan Rudd from the edge of the box, which now leaves the Town five points from safety.

The game was the first of the Championship restart and without the Kenilworth Road faithful there to cheer on the boys, the 29-year-old admitted it did feel different.

He said: “It was strange to be honest, it didn’t feel as good when the ball hit the back of the net but I think it was a massive point in the end and I’m glad that I came on and did that to help the team.

"It felt a bit strange when I scored, I didn’t really know what to do. But it’s a good point in the end and we will have to take it.”

The goal itself was a moment of brilliance from the former Wigan Athletic man as he fired into the top corner from the edge of the box.

He later revealed when talking to the press via Zoom that he had an inkling he would make a difference when he came on, saying: “It was a good pass from James Bree, I was confident before the game that I was going to come on and change the game.

"To be fair I’ve done it a few times this season and I’ve been training well, the gaffer has been impressed with me, so I spoke to him a little bit and I’ve been feeling confident and sharp.

“I was quietly confident I was going to do something when I came on, but as time went on, I was thinking I might not even get the ball because it was up and down, and the game was kind of dead. I’m just thankful I got the shot off.”

Macca and the rest of the squad have now trained and played under the watchful eye of Nathan Jones for three weeks now and the winger has been full of praise for the manager.

“I was disappointed that Graeme left, but the new gaffer has been brilliant with me, he’s given me a chance from the off, he’s spoke to me and I think he likes the way I play," said McManaman. "He’s always spoken to me about being aggressive, putting my foot in and he likes the way I’m sharp. Hopefully I can get in the team, start a few games and start a run."

Despite picking up a point, the Hatters dropped to the bottom of the Championship but McManaman insists that the players shouldn’t be disappointed with yesterday’s result.

“We wanted the three points before the game but obviously we were poor in parts today I thought, so I think we will take that," said Callum. "Let’s not be disappointed we haven’t won the game, it’s a positive point, it’s the first game and we can play better than that. I feel like we will take that, move on and get fitter and stronger and more confident for it.”

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