Hatters chief delighted as Luton show steel to kill off United

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Luton’s ability to kill teams off this term is a hugely pleasing step forward for boss Nathan Jones.

The Town chief saw his side move 1-0 in front just before half time against Colchester yesterday through Olly Lee’s goal.

However, rather than try and sit on their advantage in the second period and get caught out, as has happened in previous season, Hatters went for the jugular, James Collins’s wonderful curler gave them breathing space, before Dan Potts added a third.

It was something Jones pointed too afterwards, saying: “The pleasing thing for me is there’s been games, Leyton Orient last year here for example, where we’re one up and absolutely cruising in the game.

“They come out and for some reason we’ve taken our foot off the pedal and we’re 2-1 down in eight, nine, 10 minutes.

“Those are the things we have needed to eradicate really and we have a little bit more steel about us now, a little bit more experience and we started very well, came out of the blocks and the goal was wonderful.”

On Town’s crucial second strike, which saw Andrew Shinnie tee up Collins for his fourth of the season already, Jones continued: “We worked on things Thursday and had combinations for them as at home we get into the final third quite a lot and it was a great goal, clever play, great awareness.

“We said he (Shinnie) only touched the ball, but he touched the ball one or two yards, and invited that kind of finish, as he just showed wonderful technique to do that."

Town’s other two goals came from set-plays, another factor that the Hatters struggled with last term but are now looking more of a constant threat from.

First Lee netted at the second attempt from a corner, with Jones also aware that taking the lead was crucial to open up a United side clearly set up to frustrate.

He said: “It is, especially here as we play, we like to cause people problems, we train that way, but the longer that the game goes 0-0, the better the chance they’ve got of nicking one.

“So what we have to do and what we’ve bought here this year, there’s a little bit more quality than we’ve had.

“We’ve tried to improve the quality year in year out or window by window, so when you get the first one, it does invite the other team out and hopefully we can capitalise.

“I thought the routine for the goal was good, the finish was pretty standard for Olly. Second goal was wonderful, and the third one’s well worked, so we’re happy today, it’s a good day for us.”

Full back Potts was on hand to turn home a wonderful free kick from Alan Sheehan to put a gloss on the scoreline, as even though it saw Luton up third, Jones had a touch of frustration they weren’t at the summit again.

He added: “Yes, we’re disappointed with that (being third) to be fair, but pleased after last week we bounced back.

“In terms of Dan, Dan’s started well, he’s a threat, attacks the ball well and it was a wonderful ball in from Sheez, absolutely wonderful ball in.

“He took the goal well, so we’re very happy today. We won’t get carried away as got a big, big test next week, but I’m very pleased in terms of my team out there today, I couldn’t criticise anyone.”