Jones urges players to 'seize the day' after Exeter draw

Jordan Cook goes close with a free kick against Exeter
Jordan Cook goes close with a free kick against Exeter

Hatters boss Nathan Jones has urged his side to ‘seize the day’ if they want to achieve their ambition of a top three place this season.

Luton were held to a 1-1 draw against Exeter City this afternoon, after Danny Hylton's 23rd goal of the campaign after 68 minutes cancelled out Jake Taylor's goal on the hour mark.

The result saw Town move one point closer to third placed Portsmouth who lost 3-0 to Stevenage, as they trail the south coast side by five points, with Tuesday night's game in hand at Newport County taking on massive significance.

Jones said: "It's two points dropped and I'm bitterly disappointed.

“Especially after the first half, we dominated the game, controlled the game, got into real good areas, and then we just didn't quite get the first goal.

"And then the biggest disappointment was the first 10 minutes of the second half as we started slowly, didn't do the normal things we usually do and that allowed Exeter to get into the game and then obviously they scored.

"They had one or two chances to be fair, one opportunity was clear cut, but we've had so many opportunities second half to win the game and got into great areas.

“They get the byline, they cut it back and score, we got to the byline three times, nothing comes of it.

“I'm proud of my players as they showed a load of character to come back into this game, so I want us to end positively in this interview.

“If we win our game in hand it takes us three points off automatic. It’s a great position to be in with eight games to go, but we have to take these opportunities, these opportunities don’t keep coming, keep coming, keep coming.

“We’re still going to be in touching distance when the games run out, so I’m putting it on my players, they now need to respond.

“Because they’re a great group, a fantastic group in how we go about our work and do everything. We try to play well, and sides, Exeter changed their shape for us today, so we earned that respect.

“But we then have to make sure that we rubber stamp that respect, by taking our opportunities, by doing our dominance and by taking our chances.

“That’s what we didn’t do today, but we’re in a great position.

“Its disappointing. We’re still well in the hunt, but we have to start seizing the day, a bit more carpe diem about us as time is running out.”

The draw was Luton’s 14th of the campaign so far and a fourth in their last six matches, as Jones admitted it’s been far too high a percentage this term.

He added: “For me it’s the ones we dominate games and they nick a goal, Mansfield, Cheltenham, today, are games against the run of play people nick goals against us, Stevenage away.

“We dominate games and we don’t put teams to bed. Now look, they’re a young, talented group, splutterings of experience in there, so that’s something we need to learn.

“The naivety in today’s goal was unbelievable, and that’s the sort of thing we have to learn. We show them, so hopefully we do learn, but it’s those draws that have cost us and it isn’t for want of trying as I can’t make anymore positive substitutions.

“I can’t play any other way in terms of being more positive as we mix it up, we try to play, try to create, have inventive set-plays. I sign talented individuals to score goals and we should be and on the balance of play we should have done.

"A point's a point, at least it keeps Exeter at bay for a little but but it gives us an opportunity that if we win our game in hand we go three points, then it’s just one win, and it’s a big rest of this month, a big April and we haven’t actually been on a run of wins yet.

"We’re the only side up there to not go on a run if wins, so that says something. Surely we’re going to have one and again we’re keeping positive and then if we do, we’ll end up where we think we should.