Jones lauds brave Town's 'wonderful' performance

Luton boss Nathan Jones hailed his side for the manner in which they came from behind to earn a vital 2-1 victory over Mansfield Town this afternoon.

Monday, 2nd April 2018, 10:51 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd April 2018, 11:00 pm
Dan Potts sends the ball forward against Mansfield

The Hatters had found themselves 1-0 down going into the break when Kane Hemmings fired past James Shea after getting the better of skipper Scott Cuthbert.

However, Town hit back thanks to goals from James Collins and Glen Rea, to ensure they stayed in second place and edge closer to a place in League One next term.

A thrilled Jones said: “It was a continuation of the first half, we were excellent first half, they scored against the run of play from one direct ball that we should have dealt with better, but we didn’t.

“Then after that they had a couple of minutes where we had to scramble a few things, had to make a couple of saves, had to put our bodies on the line, but apart from that, I don’t think we had any problems, I really don’t.

“A few little scrambles in the box, but we controlled the game, played some wonderful football first half and I thought we deserved to be in front on the balance of play and the balance of chances.

“But second half, I’m so proud of them for the second half, as the crowd was edgy. They’ve taken a real knock on the weekend, they’ve taken another knock today and they’ve come out second half and just the manner of the second half performance, I’m just so proud of, because it was wonderful, from start to finish.

“They’ve got it down, they’ve played, they’ve passed, created chances, got into great areas, and apart from their keeper it could have been more.”

The Stags goal when it came was after Town were penalised for a foul on visiting keeper Conrad Logan with the ball pumped long and Hemmings doing the rest.

Although disappointed at the time, Jones admitted he wouldn’t have had it any differently as it showed to him once more the spirit within the camp.

He added: “I’ll have to look at it again as it didn’t seem like it was anything, a bit of a scramble, then he (referee Kevin Johnson) seemed to take an age to talk to someone, he talked to our captain, then they booted it downfield and got on the end of it.

“It’s a direct play, but that’s what you get with the league, so we needed to deal with that.

“If we dealt with that, it would have been a lot more comfortable afternoon, but I wouldn’t want to change anything now as the manner of the performance, to come back, the character shown, and we asked questions of them at half time.

“We said, ‘look, we can’t waste seven or eight months worth of work by being silly and doing sloppy things.’

“It’s not easy to play football in League Two, it’s not easy to play football on a pitch like that, it’s not easy to play football when you keep getting knocks and you’re 1-0 down and the expectation of the crowd, but they did it and they showed a bravery and you can’t buy that.

“That’s in real good players, and I’m proud, because if we had gone gung ho and smashed it up to the front men and second ball, and scored two, we could say ‘great win.’

“But we don’t do that, and we’ve asked them to build and I’m really proud, as that’s our structure and I thought we were wonderful I really do.”