Pelly | "We’ve got to keep strong and stick together"

Skipper for the night Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu thanked the 708 Town fans who travelled to Exeter and saw their side lose in the Carabao Cup third round – and vowed to rally his team-mates to ensure they bounce back in the Premier League at Everton on Saturday.


The midfielder has seen everything football can throw into the mix in his decade at Kenilworth Road, and now he knows his side are a scalp for the likes of League One high-flyers Exeter.

Explaining the disappointment at losing to Deme Mitchell’s 83rd-minute goal, the 29-year-old said: “No-one likes to lose games, especially to lower league sides. But this is the cup, and sometimes that happens.

“Everyone is looking at themselves thinking, what more could we have done? Make runs into the box? Put quality crosses into the box? What more they could have done?

“But we can’t be too disappointed because there are a lot more games to come, and our main objective this year was to stay in the Premier League. A good cup run would have given us confidence, but that’s over now and we’ve got to keep strong and stick together.

“Everyone knows it’s a long season. Hopefully we can get some wins and points on the board, and give the fans who came today something to cheer about. We know they cheer every week for us, but it’s a lot easier when you’re winning.”

Elaborating on his role as the club’s longest-serving player, the DR Congo international – who made his 377th Luton appearance at St James Park – went on: “Everyone, the staff and the players, have got to pick themselves up.

“Obviously me being here for so long, I’ve got to rally the troops and make sure that everyone is positive, because it’s all about having a positive mental attitude right now, and if things aren’t going your way, we’ve got to stick together.

“So all the senior boys are going to be around everyone, making sure that everything is done right leading up to our next game against Everton on Saturday. It’s going to be a big, big game.

“Every game in the Premier League is big, so hopefully we go there with a positive state of mind in an attacking frame, and listen, we’re going to try and give a good account of ourselves and hopefully have a better away trip than we’ve had today.”

Finally, on what he described as the “brilliant” travelling support, he added: “Exeter is not a close place on a Tuesday night for them to come. They are supporting us through thick and thin every week and we know that they are going to come out in their thousands.

“It’s been great for us to know their support is there, but as I said before, if we score a couple of goals and win the game, they’ll be cheering even louder than they have today.”

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