Keeping a clean sheet in the 2-0 win over Bedford Town on Tuesday evening will do centre half Lloyd Jones the world of good, according to Hatters first team coach Joaquin Gomez.
The former Liverpool defender had endured a tough start to pre-season, with a couple of mistakes leading to goals conceded against Hitchin Town and St Albans.
He was one of the ones who’s come here, to get 90 minutes, get his confidence back and I think he’s got that.Joaquin Gomez
He was part of the side that took to the field at the New Eyrie against their Southern League opponents, producing a composed display as Luton eased to victory thanks to Connor Tomlinson’s double.
Gomez said: “I’m 100 per cent confident that has made a world of good to him, because he’s played well overall in the pre-season, but he’s made a couple of mistakes that he’s got to cut out and he knows that.
“He was one of the ones who’s come here, to get 90 minutes, get his confidence back and I think he’s got that.”
Gomez was also quick to praise Jones’ attitude as he didn’t shy away from the task at hand alongside a number of Luton’s U18s squad.
He continued: “I think that’s what we’ve got, the environment that we’ve created.
“We know that when we play these sorts of games, it’s not friendly games, not reserve games, it’s a first team game.
“We get youngsters with us to make the numbers up, but we do things right and we do the same things that we normally do. They feel that and they have bought into it and have been brilliant every game that we’ve played.”
Jones, who was alongside Toby Byron at the back, was pleased to get through the full 90 minutes in front of a watching first team boss Nathan Jones.
He said: “It was good run out, we performed really well, kept the ball really well and we did the basics right which is always important in these games, because it can turn difficult sometimes if you don’t do those things right.
“I’m used to having new partnerships, if I’m with the likes of Alan Sheehan, Sonny Bradley and all them, or teaching the younger ones, it doesn’t bother me.
“I know what it’s like being a young player, it depends what type of player you are, sometimes you need a rollicking or encouragement to spur you on to do better.
“I thought we were very solid defensively, I don’t think they really had a chance.
“We took our goals very well, probably could have been three, four nil up at half time, but if we were a bit more clinical, we probably could have finished the game off a bit quicker.”
It wasn’t only Jones from the first team squad that had a run-out, as Harry Isted, Frankie Musonda, Jack Senior and Aaron Javis all featured too, with Gomez adding: “There were different players in different situations and it’s not as easy as it might seem because obviously some of them are really, really excited to be playing for the first time, or one more time with the pros.
“For some others it might be a little bit of a different situation when they come from the first team, but they were all here because we all thought it was the right thing for them to do, to be playing 90 minutes.
“For some of them it might be confidence, or some of them it might be to improve on specific things that we’ve asked them to do, so they all were here for a reason and I thought the performance was very professional.
“We dominated the game throughout, it got a little bit more difficult in the second half, but I thought it was really positive and we’re really pleased.
“I thought everyone approached the game in the right way and got out of the game what they needed.
“The ones that came from the first team, needed the 90 minutes and that’s what they got.”