Hatters winger Callum McManaman was delighted to score his first goal for the Hatters in the 1-1 draw against Millwall, but reflected on a night that he feels the Town could have taken more from.
The Lions took the lead on the hour with their first shot on target courtesy of Tom Bradshaw, but with four minutes to go, substitute McManaman – who came on in the 65th minute – equalised for Town as they earned a well-deserved point.
The 28-year-old said: “I think the lads are all still disappointed. I feel like maybe we had done enough to win the game, obviously they were one up, but I feel like first half we were the better side and created a few chances, but in the end we will take a point.”
On a personal note, McManaman described scoring his first Luton goal in front of the Kenilworth Road End and the sky cameras as a ‘great feeling’.
“Yeah I’m buzzing to get the goal obviously. It was a great run from Luke Bolton and he’s picked me out well to be fair. As he’s put his head down, I didn’t think he’d see me because I pulled off and had to adjust my feet last minute, but I was buzzing when it hit the back of the net - I needed that.”
The two substitutes combined for the goal, which was by no means an easy finish for Callum, but he prodded the ball beyond Bartosz Bialkowski expertly well.
McManaman said: “I’d say it was more an instinctive finish because I had to adjust my feet as it was zipped in fast, but I think the zip on the ground and on the pass helped get more power on it.”
The 86th minute strike was McManaman’s first since November 2018 and goals are something the winger is keen to bring into his game.
He explained: “Obviously I want to add more goals, but I haven’t scored many goals because I haven’t played much. Everyone says you haven’t scored for a year but I wonder why? If you don’t get a run of games, it’s hard to score off the bench but I’ve done it tonight, so hopefully I can get a run of games and score some more.”
The former Wigan man has been pleased with the game time he has been getting when available, and hopes to put his small injury problems this campaign behind him as he looks to break into the starting XI.
“The gaffer has been brilliant with me since I got here, obviously I started the first few games of the season and then picked up a niggle. I came back and picked up another niggle which set me back a few weeks, so the gaffers had me working hard.
“Everyday I’ve been working hard so he’s been telling me each day, it’s going to come, it’s coming, and he was right.”
Now after 10 games played in the Championship, McManaman is well adjusted to life at Kenilworth Road and said: “I love the way we play. We play attacking football, we’re good on the ball and we get at teams by pressing from the front.
“I think we’re still improving, if we could keep a few more clean sheets and put a few more wins together, I think a few people will be surprised by us.”