Jones hits out at Hatters’ ‘mental block’

Jack Senior clears against Cheltenham Town

Jack Senior clears against Cheltenham Town

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Hatters boss Nathan Jones accused his side of having a ‘mental block’ when it came to pushing for a top three berth this season.

The Hatters blew a glorious chance to make up ground on Carlisle United during Tuesday night’s home clash with Cheltenham Town, falling to a 3-2 defeat at Kenilworth Road.

Since I’ve been here, when we’ve got a chance to really do something, we don’t take it, we don’t take that chance.

Nathan Jones

With Plymouth in second also losing, as did Wycombe, it made Town’s result look all the more disappointing, but Jones felt it’s a characteristic that his plagued his side since he was appointed last year.

He said: “This is the game we don’t take advantage of, this is the game we lose and I told my staff, ‘don’t build it up because this is the game that we lose.’

“Since I’ve been here, when we’ve got a chance to really do something, we don’t take it, we don’t take that chance.

“That was when I was here last year in terms of games here against Stevenage, against Accrington, when we needed to win those to get us closer to the play-offs and then Barnet away was one of those classic ones.

“I don’t know if it’s a mental block or something mental about it.

“Today was the chance to be a point behind third, really flying, lot of teams playing each other, a chance to really make ground and we didn’t take that.

“Fair play to Cheltenham though, they came here with a game plan to stifle us and they did that.

“But we probably had 75 per cent of possession, had four times the shots and chances that they did, we just didn’t take them and we defended poorly.

“Sometimes you get that. I’m not going to get too down as Saturday’s another game, we’ve got plenty of time to get that (third place), it’s just an opportunity, a real opportunity missed.”

Striker Isaac Vassell was also aware that the players have struggled when the importance levels are ratcheted up.

He said: “It does seem that way, it’s just one of those things.

“Maybe we need to realise the importance of the games, but it’s like the gaffer said, every time we get a big chance to really put a run together or catch up some teams that we need to rope in, we just never fulfil what we need to do.

“I don’t know why, I don’t know if there’s something there, a stigma there or whatever, I just don’t know.”