Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu and his teammates wanted to make the Luton Town faithful proud today and they achieved exactly that after defeating rivals Watford!
Town produced a scintillating first half performance but they had to wait until the 78th minute for their reward, when James Collins – moments after entering the fray as a substitute – stepped up and scored what proved to be a winning penalty.
As Luton’s longest-serving player, Mpanzu knew exactly what was at stake today, as he said: “It was a real big win, it has been over 15 years since we beat Watford so to get the win today is marvellous from the boys. Collo has come on and scored the penalty from Elijah’s good work and after all these years, for Luton to beat Watford at The Kenny is unbelievable. It was unfortunate the fans weren’t here but hopefully everyone that was watching thought we put a good performance in, and three points is what we got.”
Following defeat at Vicarage Road earlier this season, Mpanzu was pleased to be a part of avenging that loss in the first meeting at Kenilworth Road between the two sides since 2006.
“It is very big, obviously I have been here a little while so I know how big it is! The team just made sure we were all focused, we wanted to make the fans proud even though they weren’t in the stadium today. We were just focused and put a good performance in from minute one.
“We made sure to press them high, we know they are a quality side and if you give them time and space they can pick you apart. Today we went full press from minute one to minute 90 and three points was deserved. Credit to all the boys, front to back, everyone played their part and it was good.”
What was pleasing for manager Nathan Jones was the amount of chances the team created, who on another day could have won by more goals.
Mpanzu was of the same belief, saying: “I should have scored, Elijah could have scored, Berry had a good chance. We knew that if we got the goal we could hopefully hold on and that is what we did. Second half we had chances as well. Luckily Collo was calm and collected with ice in his veins and he put it in the back of the net.”