Spirits boosted for Hatters boss after thumping Chesterfield victory

Luton boss Nathan Jones had his spirits boosted after watching his side demolish League One Chesterfield 4-0 in the Checkatrade Trophy last night.

Wednesday, 11th January 2017, 12:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th January 2017, 9:27 am
Hatters boss Nathan Jones applauds the fans after last night's Checkatrade Trophy win
Hatters boss Nathan Jones applauds the fans after last night's Checkatrade Trophy win

The Hatters chief admitted Saturday’s 2-1 FA Cup exit at Accrington Stanley had left him feeling pretty down, but he soon perked up thanks to Jack Marriott’s double, plus goals from Craig Mackail-Smith and Isaac Vassell.

Town’s thumping victory saw them into Thursday’s quarter-final draw where they could face either Cheltenham or Bradford, who play next Tuesday, along with one of Wycombe, Swansea City U23s, Yeovil, Coventry, Mansfield or Oxford.

Jones said: “I’m very happy, it’s lifted me a bit to be honest with you.

Isaac Vassell scores his first Luton goal at Kenilworth Road as Town reached the quarter-finals

“After the weekend I was disappointed with the performance and how we went about our work, tonight we were wonderful from start to finish.

“We had energy about us, had a real good structure, and we looked a really, really dangerous side and without being disrespectful it could have been a lot more.

“It’s pleasing as that’s the performances I’m looking for, as we train at that intensity, we train at the pace and the level where we move the ball quickly and we know we’ve got players who are a threat.

“Their best chance came from O’Shea’s free kick which was a bit of improvisation, but he’s a very good player.

Isaac Vassell scores his first Luton goal at Kenilworth Road as Town reached the quarter-finals

“In terms of a performance, when they had a bit of play second half, bit of possession, our discipline, our defensive shape was excellent, we pressed at the right times, put our bodies on the line when we needed to and were always a threat and it should have been more.”

The style of the performance in midweek left Jones purring too, as it was everything that Luton didn’t do in their third round exit to Stanley at the weekend.

He continued: “I hate losing games, but if we lose doing the right things and generally when we’ve done the right things we haven’t lost.

“It’s just when we go away from what we train at, we do things every single day, it’s like breathing.

“They don’t ever get a chance to go ‘I can toss today’s training session off, I can have a day off today,’ they don’t do that.

“They work hard every day, so when they go away from that and we didn’t press well the other day and we didn’t pass the ball well enough.

“Yes it’s a difficult game, it’s foggy, pitch wasn’t great, it’s Accrington, and you go away, and it’s a difficult place to go and I know we missed chances, but we just didn’t do the right things that we normally do.

“Tonight we did and that’s pleasing as I recognise my team tonight and I didn’t on Saturday.”

Jones opted for what could be classed as the strongest side he had picked in the competition so far, making just seven changes from Saturday’s defeat, with the likes of Christian Walton, Glen Rea, Jake Gray and Marriott involved.

On his selection, Jones added: “We have to use the squad, and it’s just the one that needed the game.

“Some haven’t played in this tournament before but they needed games, it’s Cook’s first game in this tournament and he needed the minutes, Marriott did as well, so did Mackail-Smith, so we used the squad, and we used them well.

“Jake has come in and done really at the weekend but he lacks the minutes, so again, he had to play.

“It was just using the squad, so anyone we need at that time we use and thought they were excellent, really has given me a big lift.”