Hatters boss relieved by first clean sheet

James Shea makes a save against Cardiff on Tuesday night
James Shea makes a save against Cardiff on Tuesday night

Luton boss Graeme Jones was overjoyed to see his side get their first clean sheet of the season during a 3-0 win at Cardiff City in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.

The Hatters had conceded 10 goals in their first six matches leading up to the fixture, coming within 15 minutes of managing a shut out in the 3-1 triumph against Barnsley at the weekend.

However, this time, they kept the hosts out, with Jones saying: “The centre halves took pride in that. I think we did as a group.

"I think we’ve been better off the ball as a team.

“The Sheffield Wednesday game was our best off the ball performance, pressing from the front as a unit and it’s a reward for everyone really, but I’m delighted to get that first clean sheet.”

Although Luton hadn’t kept it shut at the back, they have been impressing at the other end, scoring 14 goals and netting three times on three occasions.

Jones continued: “It’s what we want. Ideally, we want to score three goals every week and keep a clean sheet, but football’s not like that.

“Sometimes the opposition scores for whatever reason and you have to react.

"Since the season started, there’s nothing really that I could throw at the boys in any way.

"I think we’ve responded at times. We’ve come from goals behind and Middlesbrough and Cardiff, we’ve got back in the games and showed character.

"We played differently on Saturday to how we played, so I like the different faces that we’ve got, but a clean sheet is essential.

"Wee’ve shown we can score goals, so if you can keep clean sheets you’ve got a chance to win football matches and I see it as another step in our progress."

Town will look to gain a first shut in the league this afternoon at home to Huddersfield Town.

Going up against another side who were in the Premier League last term, like Cardiff were, could benefit the Hatters, as Jones added: "I think from a pyschological point of view it can benefit you, but the two styles of play are completely different.

"That's the definition of the Championship and we'll have to adjust again on Saturday.

"Barnsley was very different from Cardiff, who's going to be very different to Huddersfield.

"The big word is being adaptable at this level and every week you'll get thrown up completely different styles, completely different tests.

"My job is just to make sure that the players are ready for it, preparation's been good and they have all the information going into the game."