Cole Palmer has revealed the story behind his goal celebration at Luton Town after his brace set us on our way to victory in our last game of 2023.

We brought the curtain down on the year with a victory at Kenilworth Road and Cole Palmer was at the centre of the 3-2 victory, scoring two excellent goals as well as providing the assist for Noni Madueke to get the other.

First he ruthlessly punished Luton’s failure to clear by firing a pinpoint effort into the bottom corner, before showing great skills to evade the goalkeeper and a couple of defenders on the line to slot in a second after being played through by Nicolas Jackson.

After both his strikes, Palmer rubbed his arms as if feeling the winter weather, but revealed after the match that it was a nod to his former Manchester City academy team-mate Morgan Rogers, who had done the same after netting Middlesbrough’s winner against West Bromwich Albion in the Championship this time last week.

‘My boy Morgs did one for Middlesbrough, so I told him I’d do it too if I scored,’ explained Palmer, before recalling the incredible composure he showed to pick his moment to net his second goal of the day at Kenilworth Road.

‘I saw the keeper come out and took it round him. Once I’d taken it round the keeper I thought the defender on the line was going to come across fast, so if I waited a second I’d have time to put it in. I was just telling myself to think and keep my composure.’

We had to work hard for the victory, after a late fightback from the Hatters saw them pull it back to 3-2 in the last 10 minutes of the game, but Palmer knows it was a valuable three points earned with Kenilworth Road proving a challenging destination for many Premier League teams already this season.

‘They’re a good side at home and it is a really tough place to go, so we’re delighted to get the three points at a difficult stadium,’ he added.

‘They’re something new to the league, not many teams are used to it. We knew what they were about with long balls and set-pieces with the crowd on top of you, so we had to manage the game well and I think we did that.

‘Personally, in the first half I thought I did well and then in the second half I noticed they put a man on me, so I had to try to make the space for others. It was very physical.

‘They started pushing towards the end and scored two goals, which made it difficult, but we hung on and hopefully in 2024 we can keep pushing and building.’

The victory over Luton in our final match of 2023 means we go into the new year on the back of consecutive Premier League victories, following the win over Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge three days earlier, and the 21-year-old believes this could provide a platform for him and the team to continue improving in the second half of the season.

‘Hopefully this is just the start. I’m still adapting to a new life, new team-mates, new city. The manager gives me trust and freedom so I’m very grateful to him and hopefully I can adapt as quickly as possible and keep repaying him.

‘We just need to work with each other every day. We’ve been together four months, so it’s a short period of time. On the training pitch we need to gel together, even off the pitch, so we can work each other out. I think when we do that we’ll start creating more chances and scoring more goals.

‘Everyone knows we’ve had a difficult year so to get the three points, after the win in our last game as well, is something we can try to build on. We need to take it game by game, try to put on a winning run together and see what 2024 brings.’