Jones hits out at ‘disrespectful’ Oxford pre-match comments

Nathan Jones punches the air after victory over Oxford United
Nathan Jones punches the air after victory over Oxford United

Hatters boss Nathan Jones hit out at comments made by Oxford United winger Callum O’Dowda and an article in the club’s programme that he felt were ‘disrespectful’ after Town’s 3-2 victory at the Kassam Stadium this afternoon.

Speaking to Shoot.co.uk before the game, O’Dowda, who missed today’s clash through illness, said: “They’ve got good individuals, but we know it’s a good time to play Luton at the moment. They haven’t picked up many points in the last few games so hopefully we can do a job there.”

“I’ve read some comments today in their programme that I felt were disrespectful.”

Nathan Jones

However, during his post-match press conference, Jones revealed that interview had buoyed his side ahead of the match, saying: “I read a few things, an interview today from Callum O’Dowda that said, that it was a ‘good time to play Luton,’ those were his words.

“‘They’ve got some good players, but they haven’t picked up points lately’ which is true, but naivety for him, because that was my teamtalk done.”

Jones also went on to criticise a column written in the programme too, continuing: “I’ve read some comments today in their programme that I felt were disrespectful.

“Yes the season before I came, for whatever reason was a bit of a disappointment, but right now, we’re at it.

“Since I’ve come in, we’re in the top four or five point getters, and we’re building something.

“They’re two years down the line from where we are, because Michael Appleton, who’s doing a great job here, has been here not far off three seasons.

“He’s had two full seasons and one little bit, so he’s had time to gauge it like I have and then two years down the line they’re a fantastic side.

“In the programme, it’s we’re not going to do this, not going to do that, okay, but we’ve started something.

“We have as many points I would say as Oxford have since I’ve come here, since the sixth of January. I don’t think there’s too much difference and I’m proud of us today and proud of how we’re going along.

“I’m disappointed we’re not closer (to the play-offs), because we should be right at it now, right in the mix, we’re not because of our slight inconsistencies at times.

“But we’ve got a young group, an exciting group, a group that wants to work hard, and I’m proud of them.”

When asked about the pre-match comments, midfielder Alex Lawless added: “Extra motivation like that never harms anyone, and it would have only helped today.

“But I think you could see the determination in the lads today to want to win that game, so it was great.”