Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu says the Hatters will have to be at their very best when they travel to Grimsby for an FA Cup fourth round replay next week after being pushed all the way by the League Two side in a 2-2 draw at Kenilworth Road.
The Mariners took a first-half lead, then hit back immediately after Elijah Adebayo and Jordan Clark had seemingly put the Town in control by the midway point of the second half.
Mpanzu, who was making his 350th appearance in a Hatters shirt on the ninth anniversary of his permanent signing, said: “We went 1-0 down and that’s not the game plan we had at the start. Obviously we started the second half on the front foot, pressed and got the goal with Gabe winning the penalty for Eli, and then Clicker, but it’s poor from us directly after the goal.
“We’ll take a draw though and go into the hat for the next round. We’ve got to go up to Grimsby, which isn’t going to be an easy game, and hopefully get a victory.”
With Grimsby’s Gavan Holohan and Harry Clifton both finishing well for their goals, Mpanzu knows it won’t be easy at Blundell Park against a side who have already knocked three League one sides out of the competition and have plenty of fight in them.
“We’ve seen that out on the pitch today, two teams that fight and it’s a great result for them,” said the 28-year-old. “So we’ve got to go to Grimsby and hopefully put in a performance for the fans that travel, and get ourselves into the next round.”
And having reached the 350 mark, becoming only the 13th Luton Town player to do so, the DR Congo international admitted he never thought he’d get this far!
“Not when I signed, no,” was his reply when asked if he ever envisaged getting to this point. “You just want to get a good run of games for the club you sign for, and to have reached 350 at the stage we are at now, I’m absolutely happy.
“Hopefully there are many more to come, but it’s bitter sweet. Good to get to 350, but obviously we wanted to be in the next round. But you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”