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Reaction: Luton 1 Blues 1

When we scored the first goal I thought everything was going to be easier and it was not, because we started to lose balls and in this kind of stadium, playing against a team like them – intense and aggressive – it is difficult.

Aitor Karanka

Aitor Karanka spoke to the press after tonight's 1-1 draw away to Luton Town...

Aitor Karanka on the performance at Luton…
“I am not really pleased because before the game I thought that we could have won here. When we scored the first goal I thought everything was going to be easier and it was not, because we started to lose balls and in this kind of stadium, playing against a team like them – intense and aggressive – it is difficult. They equalise and then in the second half we try and play better but we could not keep the ball and I was on the bench thinking the team was the same as it was last year - two players up front and eight players defending. So, I tried to change it because it is impossible to play that way in this league. We need to be committed on the pitch and we need to have the ball. When Jeremie [Bela], Ivan [Sanchez] and Riley [McGree] entered the pitch I think we played better, and we even had a chance to win the game. I think we finished the game in a better way than we started.”

Aitor Karanka on Neil Etheridge’s performance…
“I knew how fortunate we were when he joined us because he is not just one of the best keepers in the league, he is a Premier League keeper. We are really fortunate. He is doing really well at the training ground, as a teammate, and as a keeper, so all credit to him.”

Aitor Karanka on getting the balance right…
“As a manager you have a plan. Today, I thought playing against them and their really aggressive set pieces, with our shape we might be more comfortable on the pitch and finally, we were better with the players who were trying to play. With the five substitutions, it is easier because we had another two players to put on the pitch. I think, maybe, in a previous season the team would have lost this game, so we just have to keep going in a positive way and we should hopefully play better.”

Aitor Karanka on Lukas Jutkiewicz reaching 100 league goals…
“I was joking with him and told him that when people saw him taking the ball [for the penalty], I knew I was going to be a genius because I gave him the chance to score, and if he had missed the penalty it would have been a disaster! I am really pleased for him because Juke [Jutkiewicz] is somebody from whom you cannot demand more. He gives 150%. If he scores goals it's perfect, if he does not, I said after the last game against Coventry, I do not care because with him on the pitch we are a really good team.”

Aitor Karanka on the arrival of Alen Halilović…
“I was really pleased when he decided to join us because when I started to speak to him I thought it would be difficult, as he had much bigger offers of money from other places. But he showed me that he is hungry, that he believes in the project, he believes in me and the main thing when you are 24 is that you want to be a top player again. He was a top player and some players choose to go to not very good leagues with big contracts to have a nice life and Alen has decided the opposite. [He has decided] to prove himself again, to trust me and the club, and to try again to be a top player.”

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