Luton boss challenges players to show they want promotion

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Hatters boss Nathan Jones has yet again challenged his side to show they want to be playing in League One next term as they were held to yet another 1-1 draw, this time at struggling Newport County last night.

Luton once more blew a great chance to make up ground on third placed Portsmouth, as they made it four matches without a win, drawing for the third straight match on Tuesday evening, failing to take advantage of their game in hand.

Do they want to get promoted? Do they want to go on that run? And if they do they they’re going to have to show it as it’s getting to the real business end now.

Nathan Jones

Speaking afterwards, a hugely disappointed Jones said: “It’s a horrific pitch, a difficult place to come to in terms of getting any fluency or anything, but we picked a side to battle, got off to a great start and then we drew the game because we’re a bit naive and keep making the same errors, so it’s frustrating.

“I’m disappointed with the players, I really am because it was an opportunity, a free game for them as we couldn’t have gone down anywhere, but we could have made big strides.

“We’ve got to do more, we’ve changed a few things, we’ve gone very positive to win the game, did that with three (upfront), they had opportunities to get it but it just wasn’t quite the case.

“It’s what they want to do now. Do they want to get promoted? Do they want to go on that run? And if they do they they’re going to have to show it as it’s getting to the real business end now.

“I’ve watched so many games of ours and watched all our clips this week and we’re a wonderful side when we played well. Tonight wasn’t that type of game as you can see the pitch, but we’ve just got to show a little bit more aggression and desire to get promoted and that lacked.

“We’ve got to have a bit more killer instinct about us and if we don’t, the season will not end how want it to end and we’ll have to do things another way and I don’t want to do that.

“So I put it on them now, it’s up to them, if they want it. If they think I’m not doing anything, they can come back at me.

“But for me, I think we need to step up as men, and we’ve got enough men there. We’re a young group, but we’ve got enough men, and I want to see that.”

Captain Scott Cuthbert was in full agreement with his manager’s views and called on the players to show they are capable of putting a run together before time runs out.

He said: “It’s up to us. I said before the game in the huddle there’s been so many what if’s. What if we’d have won this game? What if we hadn’t conceded late on? What if we’d have scored first?

“It’s too late for what if’s now. We’ve got to stand up and be counted for, we’ve got to win games.

“If we want to be in the top three at the end of the season we’ve got to win games.

“But it’s all right me sitting here saying that, we’ve got to show it as well and that’s what the manager’s saying.

“He wants to see it from us and pretty sure the squad we’ve got, such a quality squad, such a young squad as well that want to do well and I’m confident in the lads that we will.

“I’m confident we’ll show the reaction and in the next eight games that we want promotion, we want to get in the higher league.

“We’re good enough players and good enough team to play in the higher league, but we have to show that on the pitch and we have to start closing the gap on the top three.

“That starts on Saturday away to Colchester. We’ve just got to get maximum points and claw away at that top three, every point we can get closer to them come the end of the season.”