Jones praises Town's response during Cumbrians draw

Hatters boss Nathan Jones was pleased with the response he had from his side during last night's 0-0 draw at fellow promotion chasers Carlisle United.

Wednesday, 15th March 2017, 12:25 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:12 am
Hatters boss Nathan Jones applauds Town's travelling supporters on Tuesday night
Hatters boss Nathan Jones applauds Town's travelling supporters on Tuesday night

The Luton chief had been far from happy during the 2-0 defeat to Stevenage at the weekend, but felt this was a performance far more in keeping with his team.

He said: “I asked for a response from the weekend and I got it. It was a shame that we couldn’t have that type of battling performance, that type of on the front foot performance the other day as I’ve no doubt we would have won the game.

“But it was good to bounce back. It’s a very difficult place to come to, they’re on a bad run, had a bad few results, so they were always going to be up for it as well.

Luton go close against Carlisle

“It was important that we didn’t lose the game, but I’m pleased with the response and work-rate and desire to try and get a result, that was in stark contrast to the weekend.”

Jones made two changes to the side that lost at Kenilworth Road to their near neighbours, as Olly Lee and Luke Gambin came in, with Scott Cuthbert injured and Jonathan Smith dropping to the bench.

On his selection, Jones continued: “We picked a side to try and win the game, we picked a real good footballing side.

“We took a gamble really in terms of coming away, and it wasn’t an away team where we tried to set up and stifle them.

Luton go close against Carlisle

“We tried to get on the front foot, tried to play and move the ball quickly, so it was a brave choice from us really.

“We didn’t play at all at the weekend, we really didn’t. I look back and we created so many chances, how I don’t know as we didn’t play like we normally do.

“I wanted us to be more fluent, so I picked players like Gambin, (Jordan) Cook, Pelly-Ruddock (Mpanzu) and Olly, four footballers in there and I wanted us to win the game, wanted us to play how we are and get back to how we are.”

It was the visitors who were the side that looked the more likely to break the deadlock during the second half, with Danny Hylton’s shot tipped over by keeper Mark Gillespie, while Glen Rea had two efforts charged down, with sub Jack Marriott not far away either.

Jones said: “Second half we were slightly the better side. It was a very, very even game and I just think we edged it on chances.

“I’m disappointed we couldn’t have won it, but it was very, very important that we didn’t lose the game as we have a game in hand that can take us above them.

“So it was good to bounce back and not to go back to back defeats.

“I’m pleased we’ve stopped the mini rot in terms of one game, it’s taken us up a place too. All trght it’s closed up behind us but what we have to do is get our destiny back in our own hands.”

Although it was the second game in a row Luton have drawn a blank, Jones wasn’t too worried by the lack of goals, as he said: “We had a few opportunities, Isaac Vassell’s had one kicked off the line and so on.

“I can’t say that’s how it’s going for us, as we’ve gone two games without scoring now which is unlike us and not symptomatic of a long period.

“Before that we scored four goals, we’ve just had a difficult week against sides around us.”

Meanwhile, Hatters were cheered on by a superb 377 fans at Brunton Park, as Jones added: “We appreciate it, they did it last year, did it now, it’s absolutely magnificent.

“They’ve seen a proper away performance in terms of graft, in terms of energy, they’ve got something to get behind.

“We’re sorry we couldn’t give them a win and nick a goal but it wasn’t for lack of trying.

“They’re magnificent fans and you don’t see that very often, Luton to Carlisle, 400 odd fans, absolutely outstanding.”