Jones: We need to stick together
Luton chief issues rallying call ahead of Owls clash
Luton boss Graeme Jones has called for the club to ‘stick together’ going into the final 15 games of the Championship season.
Ahead of this evening’s home game with Sheffield Wednesday, the Hatters find themselves 10 points adrift of safety at the foot of the table, after Charlton won 1-0 at Nottingham Forest last night.
The atmosphere at recent home matches has been a world away from the cacophony of noise that greeted Town during their opening night 3-3 draw with Middlesbrough and roared them to that late point.
When asked how that can be recreated for the run-in to give his side any extra advantage possible, Jones said: “It can only be recovered from performances and winning.
“You want it to be like that all the time but you have to be playing winning football.
“I said there would be difficult times this season and we need to stick together, now I’ll reiterate that. These are the moments, 15 games left, that’s 45 points to play for.
“At the minute it looks difficult, the atmosphere needs to help the players, nobody else.
“We need to help the players to perform to get a win, the way we did against Derby County.
“I know it cuts both ways, but the players are giving everything and that won’t change.”
Jones hopes that his experience of being in this situation while at Wigan Athletic as number two to Roberto Martinez can stand him in good stead for the remaining fixtures.
In the 2011-12 campaign, with 15 games to go, the Latics were bottom, five points away from safety only to stay up.
The year before, they were also bottom with eight games left and still remained in the Premier League.
On the current predicament, Jones continued: “What do you do, accept that? Or do you work, try and find out why, as we’ve been doing all year?
“Try and do something about it as that’s what fighters do, that’s what we’ve been doing.
“It’s not easy, because it’s very easy to be negative, but I wonder how people will be if we come through it?
“Because I’ve seen it before at Wigan, Roberto they wanted out, he won an FA Cup.
“We were down and out twice, but one thing I’ll guarantee our supporters is our lads will be fighting like crazy within their limitations and if we fight like crazy and perform the way we did on Saturday, it’ll be enough.”
Jones is also confident that the spirit remains within the camp to fight for survival, adding: “If you’ve got a group that stick together, and in the dressing room after the game, there wasn’t fraction, there wasn’t blame.
“The performance was good enough to win a football match, it’s statistically proven and we didn’t, that’s what’s difficult.
“What comes along with it is just a variable, you get supporters being disgruntled, and media saying this and that, but we need to keep level-headed about it.
“We need to have it in context, the performance was good enough to win the game.
“What we need to do is take our chances when they come our way and be a little bit better at the 60 minute period onwards, understand how we can be better and if we are, we’ll win the game.”