Stacey wants Luton to stay ahead of the chasing pack

Jack Stacey in action against his former club back in October
Jack Stacey in action against his former club back in October

Luton defender Jack Stacey has urged his side to drive home their advantage at the top of League Two when they face Exeter at Kenilworth Road this afternoon.

Victory for the Hatters could put them 11 points clear at the summit after they wasted the opportunity to do so on Tuesday night, losing 3-2 at home to now second-placed Wycombe Wanderers.

A home win would also see Town move 12 ahead of today's opponents with 15 games to go, as Stacey said: “It was disappointing from Saturday (against Grimsby) doing so well with 10 men to keep a clean sheet and then going 1-0 down in the first minute, but we still believed the whole game we could get back into the game.

“Elliot (Lee) scored two great goals, and we had belief at half time that if we kept playing our way, we’d create chances.

"We did create chances, but none of them went into the back of the net for us.

“However, we need a bit of perspective too. We’re still 10 points ahead of fourth, and we’ve got a great opportunity Saturday to push ourselves ahead of another team who in that pack behind us, so that’s all we can look forward to now.”

Boss Nathan Jones was of a similar opinion too, as he wants his team to stop turning down the opportunity to forge an impressive lead.

He continued: “We’ve had chances and haven’t taken them in the past, so it’s a chance for us to get back on track first and foremost, as we want to get our performance level back on track.

"On Tuesday night, attacking-wise we were excellent, we really were, defensively we were poor, because we conceded from two counter attacks and they had a set-play too.

"Defensively, that’s our biggest work. We’ve worked solidly on defending set-plays, we work solidly on defending the counter attack because we know we have a proactive structure, so that was the disappointing thing.

"But going forward I thought we were excellent, I thought we caused a good League Two side a lot of problems and the keeper was outstanding.

"The trouble was, every time we’ve had those (big games), at times we come out on the negative side of it.

"But in terms of performance levels, we’re not in a bad place, it’s just we need to tighten up and if we tightened up then it would have given us a better chance to win the game.”

Standing in their way is an Exeter side in excellent form themselves, winning three in a row to trail Luton by nine points with two games in hand.

Hatters won 4-1 at St James’ Park back in October with a blistering 10-minute spell after half time, when they scored three times in 10 minutes.

Stacey, who played 38 games for the Grecians while on loan last season, added: “They were very good in the first 45, but in the end, our play, we created chances and ended up winning the game.

"We know it’s going to be a test, as that first 45 is probably the best 45 we’ve played against this season, so it’s going to be a good game.”