Jones doubts he'll make as many changes again

Elliot Lee was one of four changes made by Hatters boss Nathan Jones on Saturday
Elliot Lee was one of four changes made by Hatters boss Nathan Jones on Saturday

Hatters boss Nathan Jones conceded he won’t make as many changes to his side again after they saw their three month unbeaten run come to a crushing end at Port Vale yesterday.

The Luton chief dropped James Collins, Luke Berry and Andrew Shinnie to the bench, while Olly Lee missed out completely, bringing in Lawson D’Ath, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Elliot Lee and Harry Cornick.

However, Town never once got a foothold, eventually hammered 4-0 on a rare miserable afternoon, as Jones said: “He’s (Lee) played a lot of games, we earmarked some (to rest), and it’s to my detriment as I never do it.

“I did it last year and it cost us and I haven’t done it once this season, and I doubt I’ll do it again.

“There’s no other period where you have four games in the space of eight days, so that’s why I did it, and that happens.

“People ran around a little bit, but we were way, way off it, and maybe that’s my fault in terms of changing things up.

“But we’ve got a strong squad, everyone needs to play, everyone needs to be involved as we’ve got four games in eight or nine days and that’s what we’ve got a strong squad for.

“So if I don’t use them, what’s the point of having them?”

With D’Ath in for his first league start of the season and Mpanzu back in too after a spell on the bench, when asked if the quartet had missed their opportunity to impress, Jones continued: “No, not at all, it’s just one of those games.

“They haven’t impressed, obviously, but I don’t think anyone did.

“I don’t think anyone played well today, I really, really do not think anyone played well today.

“The ones that came on, James Collins ran around, Luke Berry was productive, Andrew Shinnie didn’t give the ball away, but realistically, we were nowhere near today and this happens in this league, it can happen.

“These are a difficult side to play against, they’ve got bags of experience, are a big side, it’s a bog of a pitch, a real trudger.

“We just didn’t do the basics and that’s why we didn’t get anything from it and we didn’t deserve to.”

Jones also admitted that the display at Vale Park, which saw Luton suffer the worst defeat of his managerial reign so far, won’t enter into his mind when selecting his side against Lincoln City on New Year’s Day.

He added: “I know what I’m going to do Monday, I always have known what I’m going to do Monday, that doesn’t change.

“We felt if we were going to take 12 points over Christmas, we really needed to be at it, and with the freshness of using all the squad.

“We made changes today, I don’t think we’ve weakened the side as we’ve bought in Elliot Lee and Harry Cornick who are in fine form.

“Pelly Ruddock and Lawson haven’t played much lately, but provided energy and what they do.

“It just wasn’t to be today, but we were nowhere near."