Luton defender Lloyd Jones is continuing to answer any questions that boss Graeme Jones might have had about him after an excellent display during last night’s 3-1 Carabao Cup win over Ipswich Town.
The 23-year-old signed from Premier League giants Liverpool back in January 2018, with the hope of cementing a first team spot at Kenilworth Road.
That just hasn’t happened though, with the centre half only making two appearances in the league, both as a substitute, while playing just a further four cup matches in that time, three of those in the Checkatrade Trophy.
He finished last term on loan with Plymouth Argyle, but appears to have new lease of life under new chief Jones, handed his first start of the season yesterday evening.
The Town manager admitted he has seen none of the traits he was warned to expect from Jones when arriving at the club, saying: “Lloyd’s been like that since the minute I came in.
“I had question marks over his concentration levels and I was told that he would drop his standards during games and lose his concentration, he hasn’t, not once.
“I’ve spoken to him about the quality, the size, the power, he’s 23 and we all mature.
“At 21, you make mistakes like that, as you mature, if you keep making those mistakes, then only a fool does that twice.
“So I’m really, really pleased with him.”
Jones himself admitted staying focussed is definitely an area he has worked on after discussions with the manager, saying: “I’m trying to do the right thing.
“The gaffer’s been brilliant from day one about playing out (from the back) and that’s something I enjoy, hopefully I can bring that to the team.
“I didn’t help myself about two pre-seasons ago, and that didn’t help me come into last season.
“The boys did excellently last season, so that’s one thing, I’m not young, young, but I’m still fairly young.
“He’s been really good at keeping my concentration, so I’m just going to keep doing that.
“It’s come from that pre-season, it’s stuck with me a little bit, that’s the main thing for me and it’s made me switch on even more now.”
After impressing during the 90 minutes against the Tractor Boys, Jones hopes it will lead to more first team outings and end what he described as a difficult time with the club so far.
He continued: “If I’m honest, it’s been frustrating since I’ve been here.
“Not this season so far, I’ve really enjoyed it, but I previous seasons, it’s been frustrating.
“Sometimes I haven’t helped myself as well, but it’s hard to put your finger on it.
"At the start it didn’t help when the lads were doing really well in League Two.
“I was on the bench for the first couple of games, came back in pre-season and thought I had a decent pre-season, but I did make a couple of silly mistakes and then Matty (Pearson) and Sonny (Bradley) were excellent throughout.
“I thought they were brilliant last year, and then I wanted to go and play some games in January and wanted to get a few games under my belt.
“But I’ve just got to keep pushing now, that’s all I can keep doing at the moment.
“It’s down to me at the end of the day.
“If he puts me on the pitch then great, if doesn’t then I’ll be working every day to try and get on that pitch.
"When I step over that white line it’s all down to me.”
Although former boss Nathan Jones barely used him, while Mick Harford expectedly kept faith with Pearson and Bradley during the run-in last season, Jones believes that the new manager happened just at the right time, with Town’s success over the last two years almost counting against him.
He said: “I think it’s just a fresh start.,
“I wasn’t in and around it since I’ve been here, probably with the move I thought I would be more than I was, but that’s football.
“Sometimes it doesn’t work out the way you plan, it’s just a fresh start for everyone.
“Since I’ve been here, everyone’s been brilliant.
“They (Pearson and Bradley) were magnificent last season and it’s a new season, so I’ve got to keep pushing to get in.
“I’m not complaining now as we’re in the Championship.
“Sometimes it was frustrating on the sidelines, but ths football and you’ve got to get on with it.”
More displays like last night’s dominant defensive effort against the Tractor Boys will surely see Jones’ game time increase, while he also netted his first goal for the club, swooping to head home Izzy Brown’s pinpoint cross.
He added: “I think I had a decent game.
“I’ve still got a lot of work to do, improve my weaker foot playing on the left, but I think I had a decent game.
“It’s always nice to grab a goal, so I’m pleased with that as well.
“I just tried guiding it, I saw the keeper coming out, so I just tried putting it in an area and thankfully it found the back of the net.
“It was really good to start a game at Kenilworth Road, I haven’t done that often since I’ve been here.
“The scoreline was very good, we’re disappointed we didn’t keep a clean sheet, but overall, I think it was a really strong performance from the boys.”