Clean sheets the aim for Hatters boss

Luton boss Nathan Jones
Luton boss Nathan Jones
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Hatters boss Nathan Jones knows clean sheets are required if Luton want to stay as one of the front-runners in League Two this term.

After an opening day shut out at Plymouth Argyle, Town have only managed one more in their last 12 outings, that during a 3-0 triumph at Cambridge United six matches ago.

I want to be keeping clean sheets because if you want to be successful in this league you have to be.

Nathan Jones

However, Jones isn’t overly concerned by that stat, with his side having netted 19 goals in their 10 league games so far, the second highest in the division, as he said: “Last year we were less expansive if you like and didn’t score many, this year we’re trying to get the balance.

“I think we’re not far off the highest scorers in the league, we’re right up there, and with that comes an element of risk that you don’t keep a clean sheet.

“I want to be keeping clean sheets because if you want to be successful in this league you have to be, because you’re not always going to score goals.

“We probably scored a fifth of the chances we had the other night (against Hartlepool), so we know that clean sheets are very important.

“It is a disappointment, but it’s not a massive one, because as I said the position we’re in and the goals we’ve scored, there is an element of risk in how we play, but it’s about finding the balance in how we play.”

Although Hatters head to the Robins as clear favourites with the hosts struggling so far this term, Jones is confident the travelling army of Town supporters won’t venturing west in a complacent mood.

He continued: “I think our fans are quite educated now. There’s no easy games in this league and Cheltenham are a real, real tough team to play against.

“I’ve watched three of their games and it will be a tough game, but we’ll concentrate on what we do and go out and try to win a game.

“The last two away games we’ve only got a point, but the performance Tuesday was of a high standard and one I was pleased with.

“So we’re going to look for a performance from us and as long as we’re right at it and happy with our performance then I’m sure we’ll get the right result.”

Jones will go up against a manager he knows well in Gary Johnson, who signed the Town chief as a player when he was in charge of Yeovil Town in June 2005, with the Luton boss then on his coaching staff at Huish Park when he returned during 2012.

He added: “I know Gary, Gary signed me for Yeovil and I worked with him briefly, before he went to Bristol City.

“Then I’ve worked with him again as a manager when he came back to Yeovil, he’s done a fantastic job at the clubs he’s been in the terms of Yeovil and Bristol City and then now getting Cheltenham back in the league.

“They’re a dangerous side, we know the team we’re going to come up against and every team in the league has got threats.

“We know their threats, we know how they play and we know it’s going to be a very, very difficult game.

“But I would imagine Cheltenham are thinking exactly the same thing about Luton coming to their place, so it’s about us doing what we do.

“We know what we’ve got to overcome.all I’m concerned is that Luton Town turn up and we give a performance that we’re happy with.”