Victory at Cambridge was only thing on Jones’ mind

Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu starts an attack at Cambridge
Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu starts an attack at Cambridge
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Beating Cambridge United on Saturday was the be all and end all for Hatters boss Nathan Jones, no matter what kind of performance his side could muster.

After a 2-1 defeat to Stevenage ended Luton’s unbeaten league run the previous weekend, Jones knew anything other than victory wouldn’t be good enough to get them back on track on their goal of promotion this term.

“We’ve played so much better than that and not won the game, we’ve dictated games, dominated games, but I just said to them, ‘win the game.’”

Nathan Jones

He said: “Our pre-match meeting was, I don’t care how we play, I want to win, I want to win the game.

“Because we’re now on points in terms of promotion points. We have a thing of two points a game and we’re on it,

“Now we’ve played so much better than that and not won the game, we’ve dictated games, dominated games, but I just said to them, ‘win the game.’

“Because no-one will look at your performance, no-one will look at anything else, what they will look at is where you are in the league and that was a fantastic win.”

Hatters needed a vastly improved second half performance in which to do to pick up the three points, as they were heavily indebted to keeper Christian Walton during the first period.

However, once Josh Coulson had put through his own net and Jack Marriott hammered in a glorious strike moments later, the was only one winner, with Danny Hylton’s injury time goal applying the gloss.

Jones continued: “At half time, I was delighted that we weren’t behind and I said to them ‘well done, well done for coming in level,’ because I didn’t want us to have to chase the game.

“Sometimes you need that little bit of luck (for opening goal), but it’s a worked free kick in terms of how we do it and he’s (Glen Rea) put it back into an area where we can score from, so that’s great play from him.

“Then there was a clinicalness, Jack Marriott’s goal was superb, and then sending Jonathan Smith on, another game changer, who was probably unlucky to be left out, but probably needs a few minutes, pulls a great ball back for a great finish. It was a wonderful second half performance.

“We had to grind it out, we were nowhere near our best and we had to do all the horrible things and we did them from 35 minutes onwards, but we’re just delighted.

“Three-nil away from home, these are not a bad side and they will get the results that they need.”

On just what was discussed in the changing room at half time, striker Jack Marriott said: “It’s a bit of both, it all depends on how the game’s going whether he (Jones) needs to be strong or we just need to keep doing what we’re doing and eventually break teams down.

“But we have been strong second half, think that shows our character and our team togetherness, because we’re willing to do anything for the team.

“It was a good day, it wasn’t a pretty game, but they’re the ones you’ve got to win, and to come away, with a 3-0 victory is delightful.”