Luton Town defender names one Bristol Rovers player that impressed him in MK Dons win

‘Once a Gashead, always a Gashead’ is not a truer word broken with Tom Lockyer present at Stadium MK on Tuesday evening.

Luton Town and Wales defender Tom Lockyer named on-loan Bristol Rovers defender Bobby Thomas as the player that impressed him the most in the 1-0 win over MK Dons.

Lockyer was present at Stadium MK after a free midweek with the Hatters not in action until the weekend. He opted to reject a night-in of watching Champions League football and instead watch his former team.

The 27-year-old watched the club that gave him his first start in senior football win back-to-back games in League One for the first time this season and further distance themselves from the drop zone.

Lockyer - who has gone on to win 14 caps for Wales and earn a place in their EURO 2020 squad - sung the praises of one of the Gas’ centre-backs.

Thomas - on loan from Burnley, kept a clean sheet alongside Lewis Gibson and it was he who caught the eye of the fellow centre defender.

“Bobby Thomas, I thought was fantastic, ‘’ admitted Lockyer to BBC Radio Bristol.

“I thought he had a really good game and done really well.

“It was quite slow first-half and not a lot happened. Second-half both teams came out with a bit more tempo. It was going to  be a moment of quality or a referee’s decision to decide the game and it was a ref’s decision.

“The penalty was very well taken. I know I am biased but if there was going to be a game tonight it would be Bristol Rovers.”

As to how Lockyer attended the match came to light after a conversation with former club media officer Keith Brookman. The Luton defender lives in nearby Milton Keynes and made his way to the stadium to watch the team.

His initial plans were to be a part of the strong travelling contingent that backed their team in front of a crowd of just over 6,000. He later had his tickets upgraded and he was reunited with owner Wael al-Qadi and club CEO Tom Gorringe.

“I checked the fixture list and I couldn’t believe the game had been moved to tonight,” he said.

“We didn’t have a game tonight with Luton and I’m living in Milton Keynes. I decided to get out and get a couple of tickets in the away end. I messaged Wael to say it’d be great to see you if you’re coming as well.

“Gorringe (Tom) said why don’t you watch the game with us so I’ve ended up in the directors box. I thought I was going to be in the away end singing all the songs. It’s just as good up there.”

Rovers remain in the heart of Lockyer, who was a popular figure at the Memorial Stadium, and described it as ‘my club’, which always go down well with the supporters.

When he departed in 2019 for Charlton Athletic, he had made 285 appearances and scored seven goals. ockyer went from being in League Two to the Conference Premier, before being a part of the side that won back-to-back promotions and solidified themselves in the third tier.

He said: “Once a Gashead always a Gashead. It rings true for me, it’s my club. I love it and I’ll always support the Gas.”

As for the modern day, the Wales defender is focusing on getting back into the first-team picture at Kenilworth Road. He was an unused substitute for the first few games of the season and did not appear in the defeat to Bristol City at Ashton Gate in August.

Lockyer has since bounced back and started the last four consecutive fixtures which has coincided with their upturn in form. Nathan Jones’ side are 10th in the Championship and are in action against QPR on Saturday in the lunch time kick-off.

“I’m a little bit gutted to be honest,” he said.

“I was out of favour at the start of the season when we had Bristol City at their place. I didn’t get a game unfortunately which would have been lovely but it is what it it is.

“Luton we’re doing well, picked up a few more results now. Anyone can beat anyone. If we can string a few wins together we can be right up there who knows?”