Jone urges Hatters to become more clinical

New signing Joe Pigott saw this late shot cleared off the line
New signing Joe Pigott saw this late shot cleared off the line

Hatters boss Nathan Jones rued his side’s lack of a clinical edge during their 2-0 defeat to Notts County yesterday afternoon.

The hosts dominated possession for the majority of the encounter, but despite creating some excellent chances, couldn’t find the back of the net, with Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu missing the best opportunity on the stroke of half time.

“We had some decent chances again but weren’t clinical and they were slightly more clinical than us.”

Nathan Jones

Alan Sheehan’s own goal against his former club saw County break the deadlock on 58 minutes, with Jon Stead adding a second 12 minutes later.

Jones said: “I thought at times first half we were excellent, some of our build-up play and some of our approach play was superb, but we weren’t clinical.

“We had some real good chances first half, we weren’t really clinical and even second half, we had some decent chances again but weren’t clinical and they were slightly more clinical than us.

“I think we edged possession, we dominated, we had more chances than them, but they were slightly more clinical than us.

“Ironically we probably played better than our two previous games in possession, we were more fluent in our play but we didn’t take chances and defensively we weren’t great.”

Hatters did have the ball in the net on the half hour mark through Craig Mackail-Smith, but it was rightly ruled out for a handball by Cameron McGeehan according to Jones.

He continued: “It was handball. I thought Macka was excellent in all his approach play, he worked hard, worked tirelessly, his runs, how he led the line.

“It’s just unfortunate he hasn’t scored, it wasn’t through the lack of trying and his endeavour, but we have to be better all round so we supply him those opportunities as well.”

New signing Joe Pigott also went close late on, with his effort cleared off the line as Jones said: “It’s kind of symptomatic of our performance, he did everything right there, but they just had that bit between their teeth that they weren’t going to concede and because we didn’t force the issue, we came out goalless.”

The result meant Hatters have now gone five games without a win at Kenilworth Road, failing to even score in their last three games on home soil too.

Jones added: “It’s a clear stat, one that we’re working on. It wasn’t for the lack of trying, and how we played.

“I think our approach play was very, very good, some of the interplay, some of the fluency in our play was very, very good.

“We dominated possession, just did not have a clinical edge in the box and it wasn’t a 2-0 game, because they scored two, probably from harder chances than they had and we just didn’t take any of our chances.

“It was a difficult one to take, we know the work we’ve got to do and we move on from there.”

On Hatters’ awful record in front of their own fans this term, which has seen them win just three out of 14 games, Jones added: “We want them to enjoy it, want it to be difficult for sides to come to Kenilworth Road, this season it hasn’t been.

“We just felt we needed that first goal, if we had that first goal it might have been a different story, but it’s ifs and buts, the thing was they were more clinical than us, and they’ve got the result.”