Pompey defeat not a disaster for Hatters boss

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Hatters boss Nathan Jones was not getting too downhearted despite his side going down 3-1 to promotion rivals Portsmouth at Kenilworth Road last night.

Town took the lead through Danny Hylton’s 12th of an increasingly impressive campaign, before Pompey hit back to claim a deserved victory with goals from Michael Smith, Gareth Evans and Kai Naismith.

It’s a disappointment but it’s by no means a disaster. We’re still in November, I can’t remember anyone crowned champion in November or promoted in November.

Nathan Jones

However, although seeing his Luton’s nine game unbeaten run in the league come to an end, Jones said: “Normally we do very well against sides in the top three, four, five, six.

“It’s the first time we’ve lost to a big side, so it’s disappointing but we’ve just got to make sure we go again.

“It’s a season of ups and downs, you have that. We’ve been nine games unbeaten and we’ve come up against some good sides in those nine games and we’ve come through it.

“Today wasn’t to be, they put in big shifts on the weekend, were fantastic on Saturday and then we’ve got to come here and put a big shift in again, But we just lacked a little bit tonight.

“But we’re a good side, we know it and will look to bounce back on Saturday as that’s the important thing, that’s what good sides do.

“It’s a disappointment but it’s by no means a disaster. We’re still in November, I can’t remember anyone crowned champion in November or promoted in November, so it’s a long season.

“We can’t get too down as we’ve been on a fantastic run, we’re still in a good position. We’ll learn from it, dust ourselves off and go again.”

Centre half Johnny Mullins was of the same opinion as his boss, as despite being leapfrogged into fourth by their opponents, Hatters didn’t lose too much ground in the promotion race, with leaders Plymouth beaten at home by Barnet, Carlisle drawing at Grimsby and Doncaster not in action.

He said: “I’ve been in the game long enough now and I’m experienced enough to know that you’re not the best team in the world after a win and you’re not the worst after a loss, so we can’t get too down.

“Results half went for us but we know, on our day and when we’re at it, we’re one of the best teams in the division, so we’re more than confident. We’ll lick our wounds and go again.”

Jones had also seen the table before speaking to the press, as on failing to make up ground on their rivals, he added: “Not many have gone away from us as it’s just condensed a little bit, with Plymouth losing and Carlisle drawing.

“It’s kind of that (frustrating not to gain ground) or kind of a blessing, you can see it both ways.

“We’re fortunate enough that no-one’s gone away from us, so that’s a good thing, or you can say that we haven’t capitalised. But these are big games and we’ve done well in big games.

“We’ve just got to make sure we get back on track, we’re disappointed, but we’re a bit philosophical about it as the run had to come to an end sooner or later you’d imagine. It’s just a shame it’s tonight.”