Jones questions Town's desire to go up after Boro defeat

Luton boss Nathan Jones questioned his players desire to achieve promotion from League Two this season after they were beaten 2-0 at home by Stevenage yesterday.

Sunday, 12th March 2017, 8:11 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:10 am
Isaac Vassell is denied by Boro keeper Chris Day

The Hatters wasted a great chance to cement their credentials as serious top three candidates this season at Kenilworth Road as they produced a desperately disappointing display against their near neighbours.

When asked about his side failing to once again take their opportunity when it arose, Jones said: “That’s exactly what I’ve said to the players. Maybe it’s a mental thing, do they want it enough? I don’t know. Do they freeze? Are they scared? I don’t know.

“Because at times we look scintillating and and when we really have an opportunity, look, they're not a bad side, they're in real, real good form, credit to them, but we didn't give ourselves a chance.

Ollie Palmer saw this late header saved

“We've conceded from a mediocre corner. It was such a ridiculous goal for us to concede, so early in the game to give ourselves an uphill battle.

“But we never won the first ball, we never won the second ball, we had no energy about us in anything we did and that’s the disappointing thing, we were off it today, really, really off it.

“We were nowhere near our levels, so you can either get down or credit Stevenage for their performance. As they showed what a good side they are and showed why they’re on the run they are and they seem like they wanted it a little bit more than us today.”

Although Luton weren’t ever at their best, they still created opportunities to draw level, with Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu and Danny Hylton having headers cleared off the line, while Boro keeper Chris Day made a string of fine saves in the second period, particularly from Ollie Palmer's close range effort, as Jones added: “The disappointing thing was we still could have got something out of the game and if we had, we would have dusted ourselves down and thought, 'okay we haven’t played well today but we’ve got a result.

Ollie Palmer saw this late header saved

"I don't know the chance count but I'm sure we far outweigh them in the chance count. Their keeper's had a great afternoon which he's employed to do, we’ve had more set plays and we’ve had more headers on goals, but they've scored from it and that's the only statistic that’s valid.

"We've had two kicked off the line, hit the post, and that's with us being absolutely nowhere near where we need to be.

"So a very, very frustrating afternoon for us, but credit to Stevenage, they came with a gameplan and got a great victory.”