Luton boss insists Leeds display must be a 'platform' for his Town players
Town chief Graeme Jones wants his players to use their performance during the valiant 2-1 defeat to Leeds United on Saturday as a platform for the rest of the Championship season.
The Hatters boss watched from the sidelines as the hosts gave their all against a hugely impressive Whites side managed by former Brazil and Chile supremo Marcelo Bielsa, holding them for long periods, conceding a cruel winner in the last minute, just as it looked like the might cling on for a point.
With Luton now back at home again this evening against a Charlton Athletic side who are 13th in the table, Jones has urged his players to produce more of the same against the Addicks.
He said: "I’m pleased the games are coming thick and fast.
"When you analyse the weekend, it was a great platform for us going forward.
"I’ve challenged the boys to repeat the same level, that’s all I’m interested in, because the level was really, really high on Saturday in every area.
"It was a performance that from a coaching point of view I was really proud of, not proud of the result, I think romance in football is not there and you have to earn it.
"We were three minutes short, that was the only disappointment.
"Lots of positives, togetherness has never been in question, everybody’s together here and everybody’s responsible, from the board, to myself, to the players.
"And I love that because I would know it if people weren’t giving everything and we are, we’re maxing out.
"I think the Leeds 13 days preparation has taken us to a different level.
“We analyse every area and I think we improved in every area at the weekend because if we hadn’t, then Leeds can inflict some damage, and we were competitive until the last seconds of the game.
“I’ve challenged the players for the same level of performance, so I want that first and foremost, and if we get that, we’ll get a result.
“It’s about standards, no two games are the same in the Championship.
"The challenge is to repeat what we did at the weekend in every area and if we do that, then we’ll get a result."
Although Town didn't slip into the relegation zone immediately after suffering a fifth straight defeat, they did drop below the dotted on Sunday as Middlesbrough leapfrogged them on goal different after drawing 2-2 with Hull City.
With just 14 points to their name from 17 matches, the Hatters are in danger of getting cut adrift from the teams above them if they can't turn their form around quickly.
However, Jones isn't too worried about that for the moment, adding: "It’s a 29 game season now, that’s where we are.
"Everybody knew we need to finish fourth bottom, minimum, that’s the minimum requirement, that’s still the same.
"We’ve slipped in by one goal, so the target hasn’t changed, where we are in May when it finishes, we need to be above the bottom three.
"Now we might win the next three and all of a sudden you’re mid-table and thinking 'what was the worry about? That Leeds period was essential.'
"Nobody knows in football, you’ve just got to work hard for your conscience every day, try and improve people and try and max out and that’s what we do."