Hatters boss Nathan Jones admitted he was surprised by just how direct Leyton Orient were during Luton’s 1-0 win over the O’s at the weekend.
Town were forced into a defensive rearguard for the majority of the second half, a test they came through with flying colours, as captain Scott Cuthbert in particular was outstanding.
“They just launched it in, which you have to expect from some teams in this league, didn’t expect that from Orient.”Nathan Jones
They were never once truly opened up by a home side managed by former Premier League midfielder Kevin Nolan, as the hosts often resorted to pumping long balls into the visitors box.
Jones said: “It was a bit of an away performance really, not how I wanted to play in terms of being deep and having to defend our box so stoutly, but we did.
“They didn’t carve us open in any kind of way, they were a very direct team, we knew they were somewhat direct, we didn’t realise how direct though.
“But the one bit of real quality in the game came from us. Jack (Marriott) scored, but I’m just, really proud of them. I don’t want to keep saying I’m really really proud of them, but they showed me how much they wanted to do something.
“I don’t want to say ride our luck as we didn’t, I don’t think the keeper had to make any kind of save.
“They just launched it in, which you have to expect from some teams in this league, although I didn’t expect that from Orient, but we handled it so, so well.”
After Hatters went into the break with a 1-0 lead, courtesy of Jack Marriott’s delightful 26th minute lob, they were under plenty of pressure in the second period, as Jones continued: “We probably went a little bit deep for our liking and were going to put another striker on to stop their supply line.
“But that’s when Pottsy (Dan Potts) went down, so we had to bring on Magnus (Okuonghae).
“But I think their keeper had more saves to make than ours. There was one bit of quality in the game and we won it, they kind of ran out of ideas, they went wide, put it in our box, we defended it well, a fantastic away performance, it really is.”
Although Cuthbert was immense all afternoon against his former side, Jones didn’t want to single anyone out in the aftermath of a fourth consecutive victory.
He added: “I’m pleased for everyone, Scotty was fantastic, a real captain’s performance, he had a little bit of motivation coming back here, but they were all outstanding.
“(Craig) Mackail-Smith upfront must have done about 25k, so I’m not going to single anyone out as they gave me everything.
“There was one bit of quality in the match, Jack Marriott, the rest of it was endeavour, togetherness, it was a team striving for three points to take them forward, that’s what they did.”