Hatters boss 'reasonably happy' with Sunderland outcome

Luton chief Nathan Jones declared himself '˜reasonably happy' with the 1-1 draw against former Premier League side Sunderland at Kenilworth Road on Saturday.

Monday, 13th August 2018, 11:02 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th September 2018, 3:22 am
Elliot Lee goes forward against Sunderland
Elliot Lee goes forward against Sunderland

The Hatters came up against a team who were plying their trade at the top level only two years ago, before back-to-back relegations has left them in their current predicament, the third tier of English football.

Luton, who won promotion from League Two, didn't look out of place against their lofty opponents, earning an excellent point courtesy of Matty Pearson’s second half leveller.

Jones said: “I think if they had won it it would have been harsh on us and if we’d won it, it probably would have been harsh on them as well, so I’ll take the result, not because we’re content with points at Kenilworth Road, but because of the level of opposition and who we played.

“So we’re reasonably happy with it and these are the kind of tests we’re going to have.

!You remember all the interviews you’ve done and all the interviews I had to read last year about budgets and our budget was probably marginally bigger than a lot of teams last year, just marginally and they weren’t bigger than some of them, but these (Sunderland) dwarf everyone.

“I don’t like doing that as they still have to put a team out that plays and I thought at times Sunderland were excellent, we had to match that and I thought we did.

“So we’ve come a long way. A few years ago we were playing Barrow and without being disrespectful, Telford or York, or whatever they were going to, Braintree, these were playing Man United.

“So that puts it into perspective, as we’re now meeting in the second game and I thought we matched them for long periods and on another day might have nicked it."

After losing 1-0 at another side who are tipped to be up there challenging this season in Portsmouth last weekend, Jones didn’t want to begin the campaign with back-to-back defeats.

He continued: “It’s important that we bounced back as well as it was a harsh result last week.

“We dominated the game, that’s the quality of the level though. It was important we didn’t lose again as we didn't want to put any pressure on ourselves.

"We have to respect the level, have to respect some of the teams and we’ll do that, but we’re in a good place.

“It was a real tough game, a tight game, I don’t think either side really dominated, but it was two good sides going at it.

“They’re fancied, they’re favourites to go up and rightly so, because they’re a huge club and have spent wisely and have brought very good players for the level.

"We kept pace with them, so I’m very pleased with that, as they came out, wanted to win the game.

"They’ve gone with a back five and a diamond and one upfront, so they’ve changed slightly for us as well, which shows that we’re making real, real progress as a club and as a team and I’m pleased with that.

"We’ve had a sharp learning curve in terms of how clinical teams can be, but I think we've been excellent and for a new side coming in, the tough start we've had, we’ve more than held our own."