Jones proud of the Hatters for being 15 points better off than when he returned as manager

Town chief hails whole club for their efforts this term

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 2:25 pm
Elijah Adebayo gets up to win a header against Preston
Elijah Adebayo gets up to win a header against Preston

Hatters Luton boss Nathan Jones hailed his side’s efforts this season after reaching 50 points with nine games still remaining thanks to a 1-0 victory at Preston North End on Saturday.

Following the contest at Deepdale, Town are now at the same stage of the previous campaign when Jones restarted his second stint as Hatters manager, somehow navigating the club to Championship survival, despite being second bottom and six points adrift.

That won’t be the case this term, with Luton already safe, a healthy 15 points clear of the bottom three, but although 50 points has been enough to stay up during eight of the last 10 seasons, Jones hadn’t been worrying himself with the gap.

He said: “We want to end up somewhere, it’s not just like, ‘all right, we can’t get relegated,’ we’ve been absolutely nowhere near the relegation zone all season, so that’s never been our focus.

“Our focus has always been up rather than looking down, so at no point were we fearing relegation.

“At this point last year, I came into the club with nine games to go and the team was on 35 points.

“At this point in time we are 15 points better off than we were last year and that’s a massive, massive thing, that’s a massive shift.

“I’m really pleased and proud of not just the boys, but the whole club for how we’ve gone about our work.”

Luton’s victory was their seventh on the road all season, all of which have come by a 1-0 scoreline, the sixth time the goal has arrived after the 65th minute as well.

Jones felt that they could have added to their tally, but reflected on a fine seven days in which Town had beaten Coventry and suffered a harsh defeat to Swansea City.

He added: “We are trying to establish ourselves so if you keep clean sheets you only need one (goal), but they put in a massive shift.

“It’s been a massive week, we should have nine points this week, we got six, but we should have nine points.

“Three real good performances, big performances in terms of energy in terms of quality and we’ve created so many chances this week.

“If we had scored two or three against Swansea it wouldn’t have flattered us, if we had scored five against Coventry it wouldn’t have flattered us, and maybe if we had nicked another one today.

“So we’ve had a real good week and against some tough, tough sides, but against sides where we’ve needed to win, we’ve done that and we’re very happy.”