Adebayo taken out of the firing line by Jones as Hatters chief searches for someone to partner on-song Morris
Luton boss Nathan Jones admitted that striker Elijah Adebayo was taken out of the firing line on Wednesday night following his barren start to the season in front of goal, as the Town manager continues to search for the right combination upfront this term.
The 24-year-old had started all eight of the Hatters opening Championship matches so far, but was yet to score, with 16 shots at goal, only one of them finding the target,
That saw him dropped to the bench for last night’s 2-2 draw against Coventry City, Jones opting for summer signing Carlton Morris and Harry Cornick as his strike duo to begin with, although last season’s top scorer was introduced at half time due to the latter’s tight hamstring.
During his 45 minutes, Adebayo skied one simple effort from James Bree’s free kick, only to see a flag wrongly raised by the referee’s assistant, but found his sights of goal limited afterwards, although he did set up Jordan Clark for a chance that was clearly handled by Sky Blues defender Kyle McFadzean in the latter stages, referee Andy Davies awarding a corner.
When asked if he had been moved to the bench to try and ease the pressure on him after a tough start, Jones said: “He’s played eight, hasn’t scored, he was struggling with a little bit of a knock from the other day so we’ve just taken him out, yes.
“He had real impetus when he came on, he looked better, looked more athletic, looked right at it, so I’m pleased with his reaction.
“That’s a real good thing and strikers go through peaks and troughs in his career.
“It’s how they come out of them and how they show that character and that’s what he’s got to do.”
If Adebayo is currently struggling for goals, summer signing Morris is doing anything but, as he made it five for the season already with a double during the opening 15 minutes on Wednesday.
First he made a difficult finish look far easier than it should have been, hammering a bouncing ball into the net, keeper Ben Wilson unable to deal with the sheer strength of the blast.
Then he showed his softer side as well, sidefooting a first-time strike into the bottom corner after being picked out perfectly by team-mate Cornick.
Of Luton’s nine goals this season, Morris has now scored five, with no other attacker yet to score, Cauley Woodrow and Cameron Jerome yet to get off the mark either, both remaining on the bench in midweek.
Jones knows finding a partner for his forward is of paramount importance, adding: “At the minute, Harry’s trying to find fitness, but we need to find a partnership, someone that’s with him that’s scoring goals as well, because he can’t have that burden on his own.
“He’s doing wonderfully well and his hold-up play, his link play is fantastic.
“It’s everything we brought him in for.”