Hatters boss delighted by ‘wonderful’ first half display against Daggers

Jack Marriott went close to a goal in the first half
Jack Marriott went close to a goal in the first half
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Luton Town boss Nathan Jones felt his side were deserving of their 1-0 victory over bottom side Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday night after what he labelled a ‘wonderful’ first half display.

Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu’s goal on 38 minutes decided the contest, Luton’s first strike in the opening period at home since December 12, as Jones said: “A goal in the first half, a goal at home, a clean sheet, and a win, I think we deserved it.

Jonathan Smith saw this second half header blocked on the line

Jonathan Smith saw this second half header blocked on the line

“I thought first half we were excellent, and as I said when I first arrived here, teams will change when they come to Kenilworth Road and that’s how it was, teams sit back

“We played in a way, especially first half which was wonderful, a wonderful way, the movement, the passing, the inter-play that we had was superb and barring a real cutting edge, we could have been comfortable.

“As it was, they changed second half, came out and had a right go, they were unlucky not to get a goal, but we’ve had chances second half as well.

“I’m just pleased we’ve been a bit clinical first half with Pelly Ruddock’s goal, and that’s won us the game, whereas we’ve probably played better second half on Saturday (against Accrington) than this second half and we lost the game, so I’m just pleased.”

“We played in a way, especially first half which was wonderful, a wonderful way.”

Nathan Jones

Hatters had gone a lengthy 478 minutes and nine games without scoring before the interval, but Jones wasn’t overly worried about that stat before Ruddock Mpanzu’s blast crashed off the bar and over the line.

He continued: “I wouldn’t say it’s relief because I think if you keep doing the right thing, we can’t keep missing chances, and we’ve had great chances, certainly here.

“We’re trying to change a whole philosophy and we’re trying to play a certain way and I think we are achieving it.

“Now we had a brilliant run which got us in the hunt and gave us a bit of expectation at extending our season. That’s when euphoria got hold, we’ve kind of plateaued a little bit and finding where we are at the minute.

“But I wouldn’t say it’s relief, more pleasing because they work hard, try to do the right things.

“We’ve created some wonderful chances first half, just haven’t taken them. We’ve had to patch a few up, we’ve got a few coming back from injury,but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

“I’m pleased because we give everything and we always try to do the right thing.

“It’s difficult to break teams down, eventually teams will change when they come here, they will change to try and combat us.

“There isn’t many who will come out and play and we’ve found that frustrating, but we’re going to have to learn to deal with that and find ways of combating that.”

Hatters could have made it more comfortable, particularly in the second period, with Joe Pigott putting a number of chances over, as on their lack of a second goal, Jones added: “I’m not annoyed, but disappointed as I want to be more comfortable, I don’t want to be clinging on late on.

“Even though they hit the bar, we’ve had some great opportunities, some situations where we should have done better with. mostly on the counter attack which is not us, we’re not a counter attacking team.

“We’ve been a team that hasn’t had to soak up much pressure apart from when we go away from home to bigger clubs. But I’m pleased with the win because it’s important that you get wins, important that we stopped the run we were on and it’s important to get three points.”