Jones labels Hatters ‘lacklustre’ against Barnet

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Luton chief Nathan Jones wasn’t entirely satisfied with his side’s display even though they beat Barnet on penalties in the Checkatrade Trophy group stages last night.

The hosts made 11 changes from Saturday’s 3-1 win over Newport County with Elliot Lee, Johnny Mullins, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Luke Berry and Jordan Cook all getting 90 minutes.

I thought it was a bit of a sloppy, lacklustre performance to be honest.

Nathan Jones

However, Town laboured to a 1-1 draw in normal time, before grabbing an extra bonus point in the shootout, as Jones said: “I thought it was a lacklustre performance tonight, I really did.

“It looked like a few of them needed game time as there wasn’t the intensity and the sharpness.

“A few of them had that, Elliot Lee looked sharp, Jordan Cook at times looked sharp, Pelly was a little sharper than others and Akin (Famewo), I felt he played well, but the others looked like they needed game time.

“First half they never looked like scoring, but when we had opportunities in and around the box, we never really had that spark and that cutting edge.

“Second half was a lot more open, we had a few more chances, the keeper’s made four great saves to deny us in normal time, but I thought it was a bit of a sloppy, lacklustre performance to be honest.”

Town’s victory did see them maintain second place in the group behind AFC Wimbledon who beat Spurs U21s 4-3, while Jones also pointed to the fact that no further injuries were picked up.

He continued: “The positive to come from it is we haven’t lost the game and won on pens again.

“So it keeps us in second in the group as it’s important, we want to win football matches.

“Then people like Lawson D’Ath coming back, it’s good to see him back after two months out, and people like Jordan Cook and Johnny Mullins, even Akin was tested which is good and Luke Berry.

“They haven’t had game time lately and looked rusty and it was good for that, we didn’t pick up any injuries, so that was a positive.”

Luton will look to cement their place in the next stage when they travel to group leaders AFC Wimbledon at the end of the month.

With Hatters in second themselves, Jones added: “It’s a top of the table game, we had one of those last year and we’re looking to progress in the group.

“Wimbledon are a tough side, we’ve got to go away, they’re free scoring in this competition to be fair.

“So it will be the end of a tough month for us, we’ll see where we are, but we’re in a good place, we want to go through because we like the games.”