Jones thrilled Town's performance levels were finally rewarded

James Collins is mobbed after scoring the only goal of the game
James Collins is mobbed after scoring the only goal of the game

Hatters chief hails the squad's togetherness after beating Sheffield Wednesday

Hatters boss Graeme Jones was elated his side finally got the rewards they deserved by beating Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 at Kenilworth Road this evening.

James Collins’ goal midway through the first half saw the Hatters climb off the bottom and move seven points adrift of safety, with both Stoke City and Huddersfield Town also losing.

Despite going into the game on the back of two defeats and knowing another loss would see them 10 points behind the dotted line, Hatters did as Jones asked pre-match, maintaining their standards throughout to seal a crucial three points.

Jones said: “What pleased me was it was the same level of performance we got on Saturday, just tonight we got rewarded.

“The level of performance has been there for the last five games and I’ve got a group of players that I’m proud of, I love their honesty.

“People have tried to fraction us many, many times and the group’s together and it's such a powerful tool.

“I’ve not felt it in a dressing room really since I've played, I thought it had gone out of the game.

“Results is one thing, performances is another, and our performances since Birmingham at home, where we learnt our lessons, have been totally acceptable.”

After demanding his side took their chances following the 1-0 defeat to Cardiff on Saturday, it looked like Town would pay the price again, Collins missing a penalty inside 60 seconds and Izzy Brown striking the outside of the post from close range.

However, Collins then turned in Harry Cornick’s cut back on 23 minutes for his 10th of the season, with what proved to be the winner.

On whether he thought it would be another fixture in which Town couldn't take their opportunities, Jones added: "It’s just another variable against us, I can give us a list now if you want, nobody makes any excuses and the boys keep coming back.

“My staff work their backsides off every single day, players work their backsides off, to try and keep the club in the Championship.

“So I’m delighted with the standards, as that's all I spoke about in the dressing room on Saturday, but can we learn our lessons, can we take our chances when they come along?

“There’s only one, but one’s enough, we didn't get one on Saturday.

“Then it’s can we manage the game better when we’re under pressure, on 60 minutes?

“We spoke about firstly, can we do it with ball and composure?

"If not, we need to gain territory, so human beings learn their lessons, that gives me enormous pleasure."