Luton’s players are eager to make amends for their disappointing performance against Grimsby Town last weekend when visiting Crawley Town tomorrow, according to boss Nathan Jones.
Hatters were nowhere near their best when slipping to a 2-1 defeat at Kenilworth Road, but Jones hasn’t had to read them the riot act in training this week, as the squad knew full they had slipped below their standards.
They have an eagerness to put that right and a competitiveness and the competition we have is very strong.Nathan Jones
He said: “It’s about giving them guidance as they want to do well and that’s the job for me, it’s not about motivating them or getting them working hard, they do that on their own as they’re a real honest group.
“They knew that it wasn’t good enough because we lost the game, we didn’t dominate the game.
“We have dominated games and not won games, but we didn’t do that on the weekend and they knew that, so they have an eagerness to put that right and a competitiveness and the competition we have is very strong.”
The display had been poles apart from the superb performance dished up against Wycombe Wanderers the week before and Jones is aware they need to find the right middle ground.
He continued: “You do have performances like that, we’re not getting carried away, what we need to do is get a bit more of an equilibrium, so that we know week in week out we’re going to get a certain level of performance, and we have been.
“We’ve been decent like that, we’re hoping that is a blip and we’ve recuperated them this week, got some work into them in terms of structural stuff and then they’ve been very competitive, to be fair, the biggest thing is holding them back as they’ve been overly competitive at times.”
When asked if there was anything he would have done differently on a personal level, Jones continued: “You think all the times, did I bring Alan (Sheehan) back too quickly? Or did we change something that we shouldn’t have?
“You think about those things, that’s part and parcel of being a manager, you evaluate every decision, but we still had a side out there who were good enough to win a football match and that’s what we didn’t do.
“Realistically it wasn’t really tactically that we got undone, we gave the ball away far too much, we turned the ball over which was the main thing, that then had a knock on effect that we couldn’t press and play with intensity and then we allowed them to impose themselves on the game, which all stemmed from us giving the ball away.”
Hatters are still in the top three though and a win, with results elsewhere going their way, could see them leapfrog Portsmouth and Plymouth to the top once more, which is where Jones wants to be in May.
He added: “We hope we’re there come the end of the season, we believe we’re doing things right, it’s early days yet, I’m sure there’ll be surprises.
“I’m sure the thoroughbreds as you like will have a good run, but we’ll see, the Plymouth’s and Portsmouth’s are there, we class ourselves in that, Doncaster’s too.
“But there’s a lot of good sides in the league that can put runs together. It’s early days to be judging anything, so we’ll just concentrate on us.”