Smith remains a key member of Jones’ squad

Town midfielder Jonathan Smith
Town midfielder Jonathan Smith

Hatters midfielder Jonathan Smith remains a key part of Luton Town’s squad according to boss Nathan Jones.

The 29-year-old has been on the substitutes bench for the majority of the season so far, but made his first start during Tuesday night’s 1-0 EFL Cup exit at the hands of Championship side Leeds United.

“I told him to be patient, because he’s a key member of our squad and I thought he was fantastic.”

Nathan Jones

Jones said: “The shifts he puts in are phenomenal, and he’s had to be patient, but he’s part and parcel of it.

“I’ve had to guide him through the first couple of weeks as he wants to play, wants to do this, wants to do that, but he’s a big part of our squad.

“I thought he was outstanding, he really was. In terms of how he went about his work, his pressing, his work-rate after being out of the side.

“I told him to be patient, because he’s a key member of our squad and I thought he was fantastic.

“When he comes in and puts in that type of our performance, he’s going to be be a big part of our squad. I’m really proud of Smudge, but I know what type of professional he is.”

Smith was the architect of Town’s best two chances of the night as well, playing two sublime through balls to Jack Marriott, with the forward unfortunately fluffing his lines both times.

It’s a part of his game that Jones knows is there, adding: “That’s one thing he’s not really renowned for, the quality he has, but I keep telling him he has more quality than people give him credit for.

“All the other stuff he has too, his defensive capabilities, his pressing, his work-rate, his desire to do well, that’s why he’s here.”