Luton boss has seen a reaction from Nombe after demanding the Hatters striker needed to ‘do more’

Attacker shows positive response to criticism in training

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 2:15 pm
Town striker Sam Nombe in action

Luton boss Nathan Jones revealed he has seen a reaction from striker Sam Nombe after telling the forward he needed to ‘do more’ if he wanted to earn a permanent deal at Kenilworth Road next season.

The 22-year-old headed to Town on a season-long loan from League One MK Dons in October with a view to completing the deal in the summer, but has barely featured in that time.

After making just six appearances in total, Jones was critical of the forward’s efforts in training during his press conference last week, insisting that more effort was needed to give himself a chance of breaking into the first team.

Nombe was on the bench for the 3-0 defeat at leaders Norwich City on Saturday, although didn’t get on, with his last outing coming during a 1-0 defeat at Blackburn in January.

When asked if he had witnessed a response from the attacker this week, Jones said: “Yes, I’ve seen a reaction which has been good, really good.

“In training we saw a reaction and there’s more to come from him.

“He has to earn his opportunity, but he has to be guided into that opportunity as well, so it’s a big onus on us as well as on him, but we’ve seen a reaction which is very pleasing.”

Jones also admitted that his tactic of speaking publicly about Nombe’s lack of effort came only after he had discussed it with the forward himself, adding: “I don’t say things in the press that I don’t say to people face to face as I don’t let players know my messages in the press.

“If something needs to be kept in house, I’ll keep it in house and won’t mention it.

“But if it’s something I’ve openly spoken to him about and demanded from him, then I feel at times that it’s an obligation to let people know that, no, we have spoken, we have demanded from him.

“Because some people are wondering, ‘you’ve bought him, haven’t really played him,’ so sometimes people have to earn certain things they get.

“I know I was a player and no-one ever gave me anything, so that’s the culture and the environment we have here, but we have seen a reaction so that’s positive.”