Mackail-Smith insists new system will make Hatters a dangerous proposition

Craig Mackail-Smith
Craig Mackail-Smith

Striker Craig Mackail-Smith-Smith is confident that once Hatters adjust to the new style of play being implemented by boss Nathan Jones they will become a dangerous oppostion for League Two sides to face.

Since taking charge at Kenilworth Road last month, Jones has quickly tried to bring a possession-based style of football to the Hatters, with a greater emphasis on building from the back.

“I know once you get it right and you get the players in who can understand the system and how you play then it’s a very dangerous system to play.”

Craig Mackail-Smith

After working with the new manager at previous club Brighton, where Jones was first team coach, Mackail-Smith was prepared for the change in tactics.

Athough he knows it will take time for the squad to grasp, with fans maybe not seeing the best of Luton until Jones has his own players in place too, on the new way being introduced, Mackail-Smith said: “The way he wants to play is almost identical to how Brighton play, it just takes time to get people to adjust to it.

“I think Gus (Poyet) took the style into Brighton when they were bottom of League One I think it was and then the next season they won the league.

“I know once you get it right and you get the players in who can understand the system and how you play then it’s a very dangerous system to play.”

Under previous manager John Still, Hatters were a far more direct side, and Mackail-Smith is enjoying the switch to becoming a more fluid team, as he continued: “You want to be playing football, want to be getting the ball on the floor and pass it, that’s the whole reason you play football.

“You don’t want to be getting it down and shelling it, chasing ball backwards and forwards, you might as well play rugby.

“So the boys are enjoying the training and performances are slowly coming. Hopefully we can get a bit of run, a bit of consistency and that will give some confidence to the boys and we’ll have even more results like this (beating Hartlepool).”

Mackail-Smith was the beneficiary at the weekend too as Olly Lee’s ball over the top was perfect for him to race away and score only his fourth goal of the campaign.

He said: “As long as we look for the right ball which we’re starting to do, when you go back to front very quickly it’s kind of luck of the draw, if you get on the ball, if a flick goes on to you.

“But if we work the way through the pitch and find the space to slot people in which we’re working on then I think that will work for us better as teams aren’t used to that in this division.”

Meanwhile, Danny Green welcomed the change in approach now underway at the club, and believes it will lead to Luton being able to dictate games in the future.

He added: “Hopefully we can come to terms with the style of play we’re trying to play.

“We’re trying to play a little bit, well a lot more football, a lot more dominating possession and if we can dominate possession, hopefully we can turn that possession into chances, into goals and that’s what we want.

“He’s (Jones) got a philosophy that he wants to play and all the lads are enjoying it. We’re dominating games, as we used to be a bit long ball and a bit snatch and grab, or you’ll score four, we’ll score three, or the other way around. But now we want to try and control games.”