Long-serving Town midfielder Pelly-Ruddock understands the importance of teamwork as the Hatters attempt to rebound from Tuesday night’s devastating Carabao Cup loss to League One Exeter City when they go to Everton in the Premier League this weekend.

After earning their first Premier League point of the season with a promising 1-1 draw against Wolves at Kenilworth Road on Saturday, the Hatters traveled to St James Park in search of another positive result to secure their position in round four.
The visitors were given their third shock departure in three years by lower league opposition, having previously gone out to Newport County and Stevenage, both beaten 1-0 by the Grecians.

Mpanzu, who was making his 377th appearance for the club and was also given the captain’s armband on the night, knows they can’t dwell on the loss and must instead focus on their survival battle, saying: “I’ve got to rally the troops and make sure everyone’s positive now.”

“It all comes down to having a positive mental attitude, and if things aren’t going your way, you have to stick together.”

“The boys will be watching over everyone and ensuring that everything is done correctly.”

Luton Town suffer shock Carabao Cup exit at League One Exeter

“Everyone is looking at themselves, wondering what they could have done better, but we can’t be too disappointed because there are still a lot of games to come.”

“Our primary goal this season is to remain in the Premier League, but a strong cup run could have given us confidence.”

“We want to try to win every game; momentum will be important this season, and we thought we could get a win here, but it wasn’t to be.”

“Exeter played well in spells, they scored, and they advance to the next round.”

“For us, it’s all about the league and Saturday.”

“Hopefully, we’ll return to the training ground in high spirits, because the most important thing now is that we stick together.”

“We can’t let losses divide the team, so we have to come together and stick together because we still have a long season ahead of us.”

“We’ve got to try and get some wins as quickly as possible, so we can have some momentum going into every game we play.”

Despite the much-changed lineup that took the field in Devon, Mpanzu believed the XI chosen should have been strong enough to advance further in the competition.

“Off the back of a great draw, I say great draw, we felt we should have won against Wolves, we came here with some confidence,” he continued.

“Rob chose a side on which he believed he could win the game; unfortunately, this did not occur.”

“We didn’t take our chances; they only had one shot at the back stick, and that’s how cup games work.”

“We need to pick ourselves up and try again.”

“The entire team, including the manager, is disappointed with the outcome.”

“We thought it could be a confidence booster going into another big game in the Premier League, but we’ve got to try and win every single game, even if it’s a cup game, so a disappointing game all round.”

As the game progressed, Town boss Rob Edwards certainly went for the win as well, bringing on some of his big hitters in the closing stages, although one of them, Issa Kabore was to unfortunately prove responsible for City’s winner, his poor touch seized upon by Deme Mitchell who stabbed past Tim Krul.

Mpanzu said: “When Rob made the changes, he brought on a lot of goal threats and we had a couple of chances, good balls in the box.

“We didn’t attack the box as we should have, in certain areas in certain parts of the game, so we’ve got to work on that in the training ground.

“Issa’s been great all season, those mistakes happen, he reacted well, put a couple of crosses in after, so it’s about trying to put the ball into the back of the net.

“Hopefully that will come within the next couple of weeks, but we’ve got to start as quick as possible and hopefully that will be at Everton on Saturday.”


With over 500 fans travelling down to Exeter and just under 3,000 heading to Goodison Park this weekend, Mpanzu paid tribute to those who made the trek and now wants to repay them with a result on Merseyside, adding: “We’re out of the cup, so that’s (the league) our main focus.


“We’ve still got the FA Cup to come but that’s a couple of months away, so it’s now on to the Premier League season.

“We still have a couple of games before the international break, so hopefully we can rack up some points and move up the table.”

“We know how tough the Premier League is, so we have to get some points and hopefully give the fans and the club something to cheer about.”


“Even though they cheer us every week, it’s good when you’re winning and getting points, it’s a lot easier when that happens.”


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