Luton manager Graeme Jones praised “wonderful character” Matty Pearson after his goal secured a 2-1 victory at Blackburn.
Pearson will be doubly satisfied to have scored the winner given he came through the Rovers academy.
His towering header in the 57th minute – placed perfectly into the bottom corner – guaranteed maximum points for the Hatters, who had previously gone ahead through James Collins’ fifth goal this term in the 17th minute, which was cancelled out by a Lewis Travis thunderbolt 20 minutes later.
After a second win in three on the road, Jones was full of pride for Pearson as well as the team’s character to play in a different way.
He said: “Another wonderful character at the club, and one we need to be proud of. I’ve thrown different challenges at Matty and Sonny [Bradley] all season and they’ve responded.
“Matty has got such a character. Nothing is too big for him. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but he’s ready to have a go again. That’s all you want from your players.
“I’m really satisfied for him. I’m sure it’s a wonderful feeling scoring the winning goal at Blackburn Rovers. He deserves it and you get rewarded in the end.
“That’s the pleasing thing. We won completely differently. Sometimes you have to be pragmatic. I’ve got a philosophy I believe in.
“I think after a while you realise that your job is to understand the strengths of your group and have a game plan that gets the strengths out of them and today was a classic case.
“We had to defend our way to victory, that’s the truth. We didn’t attack our way to victory. The character of the boys and the understanding of the boys was excellent.”
Defeat for Blackburn scuppered their chances of winning three on the trot for the first time this season – and it also ended a run of three consecutive clean sheets at home.
They’ve lost twice on their home patch – both to promoted clubs – and boss Tony Mowbray was frank that his side have to beat this type of opposition.
He said: “It’s a hugely frustrating day for us. The first 15 minutes of the game we played probably as well as we have all season.
“The frustration is that we didn’t really create enough clear-cut chances and make their goalkeeper work.
“I don’t think you can put it down as a bad performance, it was pretty dominant yet very similar to Charlton where we lost the game to a set play which has been unlike us from then until now.
“Everything in between we’ve defended set plays well and yet against another promoted team it’s hurt us. We’re very disappointed we didn’t find a way to score more goals.
“We have to move on, you don’t want to get too down on it because there was a lot of good stuff which we can’t throw away.
“We should be beating teams like Luton Town with total respect to them.
“If we have aspirations of being at the top of the table, we need to get results today and we didn’t manage to do that.”