Jones glad of no more distractions after Carabao Cup exit

Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu plays the ball forward against Ipswich
Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu plays the ball forward against Ipswich

Although disappointed to fall at the Carabao Cup first round stage to Ipswich Town last night, Hatters boss Nathan Jones knows his side have a bigger goal in mind this season.

Two goals from David McGoldrick proved the different on the night, but Town’s exit means that barring the Checkatrade Trophy, they are free from cup competitions until the FA Cup first round later in the year.

I’m glad we went out admirably as the league’s our focus and we don’t want any distractions this year.

Nathan Jones

Jones said: “We’re disappointed in there to have lost, but Ipswich are a good Championship side, they had a good win against a big spending Birmingham on the weekend.

“We’re delighted with how we played, but it’s not our focus and I’m glad we went out admirably as the league’s our focus and we don’t want any distractions this year.

“I thought we were excellent at times, competing against a very, very good side who’ve got some real, real quality and they’ve come strong tonight so shows the respect they’ve paid us.”

The Luton boss felt that McGoldrick, who has six caps for the Republic of Ireland during his career, was the key player on the night, as he continued: “There’s still elements of naivety, but they’ve got real Championship quality and David McGoldrick’s been one hell of a player for a good while.

“That was the difference, two real bits of quality from him, has won them the game.

“I don’t think we deserved to concede the second, but we have to eradicate that.

“As far as performance wise and how we went about our work, I’m very proud of them. They worked tirelessly, we moved the ball really, really and to be honest with you, we had the best chances first half.”

Hatters created the more clear-cut opportunities at times, none more so than when Jordan Cook’s shot was parried by Dean Gerken only for Elliot Lee to fire over the gaping goal from close range.

Jones added: “Elliot Lee’s missed an absolutely glorious opportunity to send us in level, and apart from the counter attack, we were making all the running, they were just trying to pick us off.

“I was very pleased, I thought we acquitted ourselves and it was a real, real, even well contested game, so I’m very proud of them.

“We have to have an element of reality and coming up against a Championship side who are strong and looking to win the game, it wa a wonderful performance.

“I’m proud of how they went about their work and how we competed, and a lot of our structure, just for a little bit of quality in the final third, we could have done a little bit more.”