Peter Kioso described making his first competitive Hatters start as a ‘great feeling’ after being awarded Man of the Match during Town’s 3-0 defeat against Manchester United.
The result means Nathan Jones’ side bowed out of the Carabao Cup, but they certainly didn’t go down without a fight and more than matched their Premier League opponents for large parts of the game.
The 22-year-old has made a handful of appearances off the bench since play resumed after lockdown, but he was delighted to make a first start.
“It was a great feeling. Yesterday I found out I was going to be in the starting eleven, knowing it was going to be my full debut as well but obviously as a player, you always need to be ready when the gaffer calls upon you. I needed to show what I was capable of and hopefully I have done that today.
“As a player you always need to be ready whenever the gaffer calls upon you, whether that’s five minutes before kick-off or two minutes, you always need to be ready. I felt like I was ready, I tried to put in a very good performance to show the gaffer that whenever he needs me, I’m ready to play.”
Battling against the Red Devils is by no means an easy task for any professional player but Kioso held his own and performed brilliantly on the night.
“I thought I done well. Obviously, there are areas I can always improve on and it wasn’t a complete performance in my opinion, especially for me. As I said, I’m not the main person here and I thought the team performance today was amazing. It is frustrating it ended 3-0 because I didn’t think it was a 3-0 game.
“Unfortunately that is what happens when you have the players they do, one chance can lead to a goal but as I said the boys were excellent and I felt like we put in a great shift today.
The right-back signed for the club in the January transfer window this year, following his days at Hartlepool and before that, Dunstable Town. When asked if he could imagine a night such as playing against Man United, Kioso said: “I couldn’t of. Playing for Dunstable Town, not getting paid. Dunstable Town helped me so much in my career but obviously so many people to thank. I need to thank God because without God I wouldn’t be in this situation but there are so many people that have helped me to get where I am, but as I said I’ve got more to do.”
Kioso also put great praise on manager Nathan Jones and he described how much he loves working under him.
“I said it before, when he feels like he needs to get on to me, he gets onto me, if he feels like he needs to put an arm around me he does it. I don’t mind the gaffer getting on to me because I know he means well, and he wants the best for me. That’s the best thing you can have as a player, a manager that believes in you.
“It’s great to see the gaffer having faith in me. Doesn’t see age, he just sees a player, I don’t want him to see me as a young player, I want him to see me as a football player at the end of the day because I am a footballer. Age doesn’t matter when you’re in mens football and it’s about stepping up and doing what you need to do.”