Town chief eyes further clean sheets after Magpies shut out

Hatters skipper Scott Cuthbert clears his lines against Notts County
Hatters skipper Scott Cuthbert clears his lines against Notts County

Luton boss Nathan Jones is hopeful that Saturday’s clean sheet at Notts County will be the precursor to plenty more following suit.

Although the Hatters have the joint second best defensive record in the division, having conceded just 15 goals in 15 games, the weekend was their first league shut out since August 27, some nine games ago.

As a defensive unit and also as a team, we know if we keep clean sheets, more often than not we’ll win the game.

Nathan Jones

Jones said: “We want to because if you keep clean sheets you’ve only got to score one to win the game.

“Invariably we do score goals. We haven’t today (Saturday) and that’s the frustrating thing because we’ve kept a clean sheet.”

Centre half Johnny Mullins, who have seen all three clean sheets come when he has been in the centre of defence, was of the same opinion too.

He said: “I hope so, we’ve got goals in this team, a constant threat from everywhere, so as a defensive unit and also as a team, we know if we keep clean sheets, more often than not we’ll win the game.

“We go into every game wanting a clean sheet, today we were fortunate enough to get one.

“The way we play, we dominated possession and I think the reason we haven’t kept a clean sheet in the last few weeks, is, I hate using it in football, but little bit of luck and little bit of rub of the green. So it’s nice to get it and we just want to build on that.”

Saturday’s stalemate at County was Luton’s fifth league draw in six games though, and Jones has urged his side to start putting victories on te board.

He said: “We would like to turn these draws into wins because we’re controlling games, we’re having enough of games but we’re building a reputation.

“We’re evolving as a team, we’re evolving as a squad. We have a great squad here, we believe in it and we’ll have to find ways to win games, but by not losing games you’re always in with a chance of winning them.

“We don’t want to be frustrated with draws because we believe we’re a good side, we believe that, on our day, we’re as good as anyone.

“It’s just that day has got to be a little more frequent.

“We’re in real good form at the minute. The way we’re playing is very pleasing and I’m proud of my team for that because they really do play in the right manner, how I ask them to.

“They’re brave and for 70 minutes we were very good. We controlled the game, it’s just a bit unfortunate that we didn’t nick the game.”

Jones also felt that once more, the opposition changed their approach ahead of the match as they were coming up against the Hatters.

He knows Town will have to adapt to such scenarios, but is confident his side have the attacking prowess to do so, adding: “I watched Morecambe play against Notts County and it was a totally different game. They set up in a totally different way to they way they set up against us, so we have to find ways of doing that.

“We’ll get it though, because we’re creating chances, it’s not like we’re not creating.

“There was plenty in and around the box and we did create a great opportunity right before half time. We’ve had shots, we’ve had real good interplay, but they were very rigid, very disciplined in their shape.

“I can’t image it being like that here against many teams, but they’ve got two good results from doing that.

“They beat Portsmouth away last week by doing that and scored two goals, we had a real good defensive rearguard and we earned a good point.”