Month-ending delight for Hatters chief

Luton boss Nathan Jones was relieved his side finished off October with a 2-0 win at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

Thursday, 1st November 2018, 7:53 am
Updated Thursday, 1st November 2018, 8:48 am
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Last season, the Hatters had a unwanted quirk in the final game of the month, as they only took 11 points from a possible 27, with three wins, two draws and four defeats.

This term they appear to have banished that slight stain on their record, with the weekend victory making it two wins and a draw thus far.

Jones said: “I know we mentioned it a few times last year, the last game of the month, but we didn’t (lose).

“We showed a real professional edge to us and a clinical edge, because two good goals and if I’m honest, without being disrespectful, it should have been more.”

Although the game was goalless at half time, with neither side able to really grasp the upper hand, Jones felt his side were ideally placed for the second period.

That proved to be the case to, as they were by far the better side, with Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu and Elliot Lee both on target to secure a third victory out of three.

Jones continued: “You tend to find that the first half’s are tighter, but when the space opens up, then you have to exploit that space and be clinical and show your quality.

“It’s a tight ground here and it’s a difficult one, it’s not a Barnsley ground and the aesthetics matter when you’re playing, but I thought we were excellent.

“It was an away performance, as I asked them for an away performance.

“This is the one that maybe last year and the year before, we might have drawn, we might have lost, we might have let ourselves down, but we didn’t.”

The result ensured Luton had a quite brilliant month, as they climbed to fifth in the table with 15 points from 18 on offer and a 3-0 Checkatrade Trophy win over MK Dons too.

They now head to Rochdale this weekend, a side who are sitting 14th in League One with 19 points from 16 games, as Jones added: “It finishes the month off well, we’ve had a fantastic month, seven games, six victories and one defeat at Barnsley, a wonderful month for us, I would have taken that all day long.

“It’s been a real tough month against some real tough sides, some tricky away games, but we’re delighted with that return.

“It’s another tough month coming up now, a few away games, starting the month with an away game.

“We’re in decent form, we’ve got a week to try and dust them down, and to get everyone ready and then we’ll be looking forward to it.”

Midfielder Jorge Grant missed out from Saturday’s victory, but Luton showed the strength of the squad they have, with Lee coming into the side and scoring his side’s second goal.

He added: “He’s (Grant) picked up a little bit of soreness and stiffness and we didn’t want to risk him.

“We had three games in a week and the way we play and the efforts they put in, sometimes you want to mix it up, but when you’ve had two fantastic home performances, you don’t want to change something.

“The fact that we were forced to do that, it’s come back and paid dividends, because Elliot has scored.

“We used the squad, as that’s what the squad’s there for and hopefully now we can get a few more back, it gives (Dan) Potts another week and so does (Luke) Berry and also Jorge as well.”