Jones: We weren’t far off outplaying a Championship side

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones
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Town boss Nathan Jones felt his side all but outplayed Championship oppoents Leeds United during their 1-0 EFL Cup second round defeat at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday night.

Hatters bossed possession for large swathes of the first half, only to trail to Tyler Denton’s 23rd minute goal.

“We were excellent I wouldn’t go as far to say outplayed, but we weren’t far off outplaying a Championship side.”

Hatters

They then upped their game even more in the second period, dominating territory and going close on a number of occasions, but couldn’t find the all important equaliser, striker Jack Marriott twice shooting wide when clean through.

Jones said: “I’m disappointed to be going out of the cup and I’m disappointed to lose the game but that’s as far as my disappointment goes, because I thought we were outstanding from start to finish.

“The way we went about our work was superb, we were excellent I wouldn’t go as far to say outplayed, but we weren’t far off outplaying a Championship side.

“I thought first half we moved the ball really well, we just lacked a little bit of cutting edge, we had probably the best chance of the first half, the chance to go in level but we didn’t take it, one-on-one and then second half I thought we were magnificent.

“We went for it, had fluency, changed one or two things, we had the best chances second half again and I felt we deserved to win the game.

“As I said, you’ve got to take your chances but in terms of a performance, I couldn’t ask for any more from my squad of players, I thought they were excellent.”

Jones has set himself and the club the target of reaching the Championship in three years times and believes performances that Town have conjured up against the Whites and Aston Villa back up his claims.

He continued: “Sometimes I’m disappointed, sometimes I’m very vociferous in what I do, but I just thought that was an excellent performance.

“I’m proud of them, they did what I wanted them to do tonight, they moved it quicker than a Championship side, we had a cutting edge to us.

“We want to end up here, three years time we want to end up here, playing them regularly. But we’ve come and we’ve taken on three Championship clubs now since pre-season and I thought we’ve been excellent in all three games, I really do.”

Although Luton have now lost their last two games, after a stoppage time defeat to Stevenage at the weekend, Jones wasn’t downhearted in the slightest, as he added: “It’s two defeats, but you have to take those in context.

“If I didn’t want to lose the game then I would have just shut up shop against Stevenage and said we’ll take a point no problem, we’ll sit in second, we don’t want to do that.

“We felt it was a risk and reward and we felt we could get the win, and even after they scored we still had chances and as I said, we were dominant in that game, so, so, so dominant.

“So that was a good performance, sometimes results can mask performances, but that was excellent. Then we’ve come up against a Championship side, there’s a lot more clinical results out there where Championship sides have beaten higher league sides a lot more comfortably.

“I thought we were excellent, so yes, we’ve lost the game, but one, that will give them a load of heart and two, I’m just proud of them.”