Hatters forward Kazenga LuaLua reflected on how a Christmas Day chat proved to be the inspiration as he found the back of the net in an electric performance at Kenilworth Road yesterday in the 3-3 draw with Fulham.
The former Brighton & Hove Albion winger was a thorn in the side of the Cottagers throughout the afternoon before his withdrawal after 75 minutes, winning the match sponsor’s Man of the Match award.
Having spent the evening of Christmas Day with his family, the 29-year-old explained how a slight tweak in mentality may well have laid the foundations for his goal yesterday.
He explained: “The funny thing is I was with my cousin last night, my family spent Christmas in Newcastle, I said to my cousin ‘I need to score, I haven’t done a backflip for a long time, it will be so nice if I can get a goal tomorrow’.
“He said ‘you shouldn’t say you need to score, you should say you’re going to score tomorrow’. So I said ‘you’re right, I am going to score tomorrow’. So it was nice to score, I enjoyed it.”
It was an afternoon that had elation and disappointment in equal measure as the Graeme Jones’ team put in a thoroughly impressive performance, but were pinned back on three occasions.
“It’s always disappointing – if you’re winning 3-2 and there’s two minutes left in the game [and you concede],” LuaLua continued. “But it’s a tough league, you have got to play until the end, until the ref blows the whistle. But we didn’t lose the game.
“We knew the game was going to be tough, Fulham are fighting for promotion. But I thought we were very good from the start. We knew we were going to come under pressure in the second half, which we did, but it is better to get a draw than to lose the game.
“We are disappointed in the changing room because we were so close to getting three points, but we have got to move on now, we have got another game, away at Bristol, so hopefully we put it right to the end.
“It’s not been easy for me, but we have a strong squad. The gaffer said ‘when you get a chance, you have to take it’, so I would like to think that I did. But we have got to keep going, it’s not just play well today and that’s it. I need to keep playing well every single time I get a chance.
“The way we played, I thought we were very good from the start to the end. We just need to play like that every game, it’s not going to be easy to get a result. The way we played, I think we have a chance to stay up, I don’t see why not. We’re doing well, it’s difficult at the moment, but I am sure we will get there.
“I have played today – I would be a bit silly to say to the gaffer ‘I can’t play, I am tired!’ I want to play as many games as I can. So I am fine, I am looking forward to the game, like the boys in the changing room.”