FOOTBALL: Paddy McCourt hopes to bring flair to Luton Town

Northern Ireland international Paddy McCourt opened his goalscoring account at Luton Town recently.
Northern Ireland international Paddy McCourt opened his goalscoring account at Luton Town recently.

Luton Town are lucky to have a match-winner like former Derry City winger Paddy McCourt in their ranks - says their new recruit, Alan Sheehan.

Sheehan watched as the Northern Ireland man bagged his first goal for the club against Mansfield last week, producing a starring role after being handed his first start since October by recently appointed boss Nathan Jones.

Sheehan said: “It was a great finish by Paddy McCourt, he’s an unbelievably talented player, a lot better than this division.

“We’re lucky to have a player like him in a team. When I saw the squad and people like Paddy McCourt here, if Luton can get the best out of him, he’s a match-winner.”

McCourt himself knows there is more to come too, as he he added: “It was an okay performance from myself, I wouldn’t rate it too highly, just okay.

“We managed to get the goal early on and it was a good goal. It was coming in at a bit of pace and sometimes you hit them and they go into the stands, so I was fortunate it went in the bottom corner.

“It was good build up play, a good ball back from Pelly as well, I managed to strike it cleanly and it nestled in the bottom corner so I was delighted with that.

“I put a half decent ball in for Pelly’s goal too, it wasn’t a great ball, but it’s a start now. I’ll get better the more games I play, the fitter, the more match fit I get.”

The supremely talented 32-year-old had been restricted to just seven league starts under previous manager John Still, despite Luton struggling for form in League Two this term.

However, he was back against Mansfield, scoring his first Luton goal and setting up Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu for the second too.

“It was great, all players want to play from the start and it’s been disappointing to sit on the sidelines,” said McCourt.

“It was very frustrating because we’d just won three or four games in a row, then I came back from an international double header, was on the bench, played in the draw against Leyton Orient and that was it, I didn’t play again.

“I don’t know why, I didn’t ask the manager and he ended up getting the sack, but it was very disappointing as I felt that although I wasn’t where I wanted to be in terms of performance, I was playing, we were winning games.”

McCourt is hoping to play his part in what could be an exciting future.

He said: “I don’t think he’s (Nathan Jones) trying to change everything at once, he’s not stupid, he knows it’s going to take time.

“He’s a coach who wants to play football, ball from the back, get between the lines, bring a wee bit of flair and creativity back to Luton, so hopefully I can play a big part in that.”