No dark arts but Jones wants Town's players to develop an edge
Hatters boss Nathan Jones felt if his side had more of an edge about them, then they may well have been playing against 10 men during Sunday night's play-off clash at Blackpool.
In the game’s opening moments, Town wing back Dan Potts went down clutching his face, appearing to be hit by a stray elbow from home defender Kelvin Mellor.
Although Potts made a full recovery after receiving lengthy treatment, no Town players brought the incident to referee Nigel Miller’s attention, with Mellor not even seeing yellow for the challenge.
Jones didn’t want to see his side, who have the youngest average age in the division, accost the official in anyway, but felt more could have been made of the incident, saying: “We spoke about that as I thought our players were reasonably naive there, because that was a bad elbow, a bad challenge.
“I think most would have (surrounded the referee), but we have a young group, reasonably naive, an honest group and we don’t want to get people in trouble and things like that.
“For me it wasn’t a great challenge, but the referee and linesman, the linesman couldn’t have had a better view.
“He was probably four yards away from it, but if he never saw it, then he didn’t think there was anything wrong.
“You have to have edges to win games and maybe they’ll develop that because experience teaches you that.
“I was quite naive and a reasonably honest player until I got a little bit older and was a lot cleverer if you like.
“It’s not so much dark arts, I think it’s more being clever and I want to portray a reputation of being an honest, hard working manager and want my team to be that.
“If the referee had done his job then it might have been something different at the end of the day, but lets not dwell on that.”
Potts has been in the wars of late, as he suffered a head injury against Carlisle and was left with a nasty looking wound on his eyebrow after being caught my Mellor.
Jones said: “He might need to learn to protect himself, the amount of concussions and things he’s having, he might want to learn pretty quick too.
“But as you saw in the game, he was very combative in both boxes. He’s a good character, comes from good stuck, his dad (Steve Potts) was a warrior as well, and as I said, he’s that type, so there’s no worries about him (for Thursday).
“These things happen in games and he was strong enough to continue his job defensively and then popped up with the goal so we’re pleased with his performance.”
Potts himself added: “It’s probably bad luck, I’ve had my fair share of knocks this year, this calendar year anyway, but hopefully this one will settle down, I’ll train and all be good.”