Town boss declares Foxes were on a 'different level'

Hatters boss Graeme Jones admitted last night’s Carabao Cup opponents Leicester City were on a ‘different level’ to the Hatters.

Wednesday, 25th September 2019, 4:53 pm
Town defender Lloyd Jones is put under pressure by Leicester's 30m summer signing Ayoze Perez

The Foxes, who won the Premier League in 2016 are currently sitting third in the top flight after six games, only behind Liverpool and Manchester City.

They took to the field with a starting 11 that must be up there with the most expensive ever to set foot on the Kenilworth Road playing surface, costing an estimated £130.5m, as opposed to a home side that had been put together for somewhere closer to the region of £2m.

City chief Brendan Rodgers even had the luxury of leaving Jamie Vardy on the bench, although when they did replace £30m summer signing from Newcastle Ayoze Perez, it was for Kelechi Iheanacho, who cost £25m from Manchester City in August 2017.

It showed as well, the Foxes running out 4-0 winners on a night they had 70 per cent possession and 28 shots, opposed to Luton’s three.

Jones said: “We couldn’t go after Leicester tonight, we couldn’t.

“They’d have played around us, they’ve got too much quality, so we sat in and we made it difficult for them.

“The only time they opened us up in the first 30 minutes was when we gave the ball away, on that transition they are dangerous.

“Then after a little bit, one or two had two seconds on the ball and you see James Justin’s penetrating run in behind where there’s not a lot of space, but those top players don’t need a lot of space to hurt you.

“So it’s 4-0, you don’t want to lose football matches, but you have to take your hat off to the opposition, they’re just on a different level and you have to accept that.

“This is the league we’ve stepped up to now and then there’s another league to go again, but they’re an outstanding team Brendan’s put together.”

Although Town were knocked out as the gulf in class showed from the very early stages, Jones declared himself pleased with what his side brought to the cup tie themselves.

The Hatters manager believes he can take those lessons into the Championship campaign, adding: "I was pleased with that off the ball shape, that made it difficult for them.

"As a club we can use that sometimes. We pressed the game at the weekend (against Hull), we pressed the game against QPR, we can do that.

"We pressed the game against Huddersfield, it was our biggest strength and was probably why we won.

"Today we didn’t, it’s just, it’s more armoury against the third best opposition in this country.

"I think there’s only a couple of players missing, maybe (James) Maddison and (Jamie) Vardy, the third best opposition you could face in this country and there were some things I will definitely take from the game.

“I know that I’m going to take things forward from this performance as it’s the ultimate test.

"There are two teams at the minute who are better than Leicester in the country and I would say on merit.

"There’s Manchester City and there’s Liverpool and we have all seen what they can do.

"I’m not happy that we got beaten 4-0, but if you are going to lose you have to learn and we learnt against the third best opposition in the country.

"We learned some things tonight that we can take forward, so at least we added.”