Jones: Brighton win has set down a marker
Hatters boss Nathan Jones believes his side have set themselves a marker during their highly impressive 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion yesterday afternoon.
Luton were the better side for long period against their Championship opponents at Kenilworth Road, scoring inside the first minute through Jack Marriott.
Although Lewis Dunk levelled before the break, Marriott netted again just before the hour mark, as Town held of a Brighton side, who picked a number of first team players that led them to the play-offs last season for the clash.
Jones said: “I’m not getting carried away, it’s pre-season but we’ve set a good marker.
“It was all about the test, a good physical test and staying fit and we did that. We’ve taken a step forward today so that was the most important thing.
“I’d have to see it back, but I was very pleased as they are what we aspire to be, Brighton are what we aspire to be in terms of as a club and everything they have.
“They have a real good infrastructure there and have good people. We have good people, I see similarities right through the club and hopefully now we have to get our own stamp on things and start building a reputation and we’re in the early stages of that.
“But I felt we were excellent, our tempo, our pressing, our enthusiasm, our energy, our desire to work hard was excellent and in all honesty I think we created enough to have won the game, no problem.
“But we’re not getting carried away as we didn’t get carried away on Tuesday night (losing 1-0 to Boreham Wood).
“That was an excellent test for us, and today was as well, but I’m very pleased with how we’re progressing and that’s the main thing.”
Hatters attacked with a refreshing positivity throughout, as they could have won by more, but for some fine saves by Niki Maenpaa, particularly from Danny Hylton’s downward header, while Dunk denied Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu on the line too.
Jones continued: “We broke really well, had a real counter-attacking edge to us, their keeper has pulled off some real top class saves.
“It was a shame for Danny that he didn’t get on the scoresheet, but he was part and parcel of an excellent team performance.
“Brighton are a top, top Championship side and they came strong, so it’s a wonderful test for us.
“I thought it was a good game, it had real tempo in it, we stood up to it and showed what we’ve been working on.”
The only down side for Jones was the ease in which his side conceded moments before half time, as Dunk rose highest to head home Jiri Skalak’s free kick unchallenged, their only shot on target in the entire game.
He added: “It was disappointing to concede from a set play as it’s something you can avoid.
“It was a good ball in, he’s got very good quality Jiri and Dunk’s excellent, he’s a Premier League centre half, so we knew they had that threat as I’ve worked with them both.
“It’s just disappointing we conceded from that and especially in that manner as they didn’t have to work too hard for it.
“So we showed that’s one thing to work on, maybe I wouldn’t have been so vehement on it, but now I will be.
“We showed a lot of character though because against a top Championship side, we didn’t go into our shells, we came back out and should have scored straight after.”