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Stoke matchwinner Jacob Brown backed to make big impression with Scotland

Luton Town v Stoke City – Sky Bet Championship – Kenilworth Road
(Image credit: Leila Coker)

Stoke boss Michael O’Neill hailed striker Jacob Brown as he capped a week that saw him earn a first international call-up to the Scotland senior squad with the only goal in a 1-0 win at Luton.

The 23-year-old celebrated his inclusion in Steve Clarke’s squad by scoring in the 34th minute, sliding home Romaine Sawyer’s cross from close range for his fifth goal of the season.

And O’Neill said: “Steve had asked me about him and I’d said that if you needed someone that Jacob was certainly worth having a look at.

“Sometimes how Scotland are playing their system, it’s similar to what we’re playing and Jacob has adapted and played well in that system,

“I know what international football is like away from home, where you need a striker that can cover distances. Jacob’s able to do that, so I’m delighted for him he’s in the squad.

“He doesn’t have to go in there and make a big impression in his first trip, he has to go in there and enjoy it and I think Steve will see if he’s needed, he’ll do a good job for them.”

O’Neill praised his side’s response to their capitulation in the 3-3 draw at Cardiff last weekend, with two 1-0 away victories since moving the Potters up to fifth in the Championship.

He added: “It was a good win too as last week at this time we were scratching our heads wondering how we’d lost a three-goal lead in five minutes at home, and then we came back out and won two games away from home.

“Two clean sheets, two 1-0 victories, so it tells me a lot about the players. We were a long way from where we were two years ago and we’ve got to continue to progress.”

Luton boss Nathan Jones said: “It was a bit of a war of attrition first half, not much happening and then they showed one bit of quality. We went to sleep and it’s a poor goal to give away from our point of view.

“Then second half we came out, and I thought we were much more front-footed in the second half. We had enough situations to have done more, we just lacked the quality in the final third today to put a cross on the money or we did put a cross on the money and then we hit the bar from it.

“That was the story of it today. There was one bit of quality in the game, they showed it and they won the game.

“Stoke have got a good squad, a big squad, an expensive squad, they’ve got good experience, but we showed once again that we’re more than competing in the upper echelons of this league.

“Middlesbrough, Stoke are promotion chasing sides that will expect to be in the top six, so we’ve beaten Middlesbrough here and to be honest should have got something out of the Stoke game.”