Jones learning which players he can trust at Luton

Luton boss Graeme Jones believes he is finding out just which players he can trust after their 2-0 pre-season win over Maritimo in Portugal this afternoon.

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 5:54 pm
New Luton keeper Simon Sluga claims the ball against Maritimo
New Luton keeper Simon Sluga claims the ball against Maritimo

The visitors produced a fine display against their strong opponents, with a goal from Harry Cornick and James Collins’ penalty sealing their fourth warm-up victory.

Jones said: “I am absolutely delighted, I don’t know what the temperature is, but it’s very, very hot, so we had that variable against us.

“Tactically Maritimo were a real test, played different shapes even within the game, we knew that leading into it.

“I was really pleased with the players’ understanding.

“Maritimo finished seventh in the Portuguese top league last season, so individually they can hurt you, collectively they can hurt you.

“What I loved about our performance was the tactical ability to carry out our plan, to deal with their plan, but also Maritimo tried to mix it at times and these boys were up for it no problem.

“Today was really satisfying, because you start earning trust, you start knowing the players you can trust, who can do the job with resilience for 90 minutes, so overall, I am really, really happy.”

After playing a handful of Southern League sides before this match, Jones was thrilled with the way his side stood up to the tougher challenge in front of them.

He continued: “That was a measurement of the pre-season work, the games against non-league clubs this far, to implement your technical and tactical plan.

“It’s for the physical contest, to make sure we’re physically up to the level and then ultimately when you play against a team like Maritimo and then you play against Norwich (on Saturday), you know where you are.

“I was incredibly satisfied with what I saw and I feel like all of the work of the last four weeks went into that one performance.

“I didn’t think they allowed us more time on the ball, I thought their press was excellent.

We had to really earn possession, which you want that challenge, that’s why we picked Maritimo, that’s why the games have gone up.

“It is a great preparation for Saturday, but we need to recover and we need to look after ourselves.

“We’re playing in 60- hours, maybe a bit longer, so it’s a good exercise.

“I was delighted with, but I said to the players, the most important thing is we need to win and that’s what we did.”