Boro draw helped keep the peace for Town chief Jones

Hatters boss Graeme Jones
Hatters boss Graeme Jones

The Hatters’ 3-3 draw against Middlesbrough on Friday night was a result that helped keep the peace in the household of Luton chief Graeme Jones.

With Jones’ wife Debbie from Stockton and her relatives all Boro fans, then an away win would have been well received by certain members of the Town manager's family.

However, James Collins scored late on to ensure the spoils were shared, as Jones, himself a Newcastle United supporter, knows full well about putting loyalties to one side during his career.

He said: “Yes, I suppose, I never thought about that, so I might get a bit of peace now.

“I was only ever interested in winning, the result keeps the peace, but we'll take it

“She knows, you just can’t help who you’ve supported growing up.

“Many times with Newcastle United, I was a season ticket holder there with my father and all of a sudden Wigan and Everton are competing against them and all of that loyalty goes out the window.

“So then the only team I ever supported was England and then there was only Belgium (where Jones was assistant) who could draw England in the World Cup, so that went out the window, but it’s part of the profession.”

Although the fans lapped up the 90 minutes of unbridled end-to-end entertainment at Kenilworth Road, Jones admitted it wasn't an ideal experience for either manager.

He continued: “I said to Jonathan (Woodgate, Middlesbrough boss), your heart is 10 years younger than mine, but that's the definition of the Championship, great for the public, shocking for two managers.

“I was delighted with the goals, as we want to attack and want to score goals, that's the kind of teams I'm interested in.

“But when you analyse the three goals that we conceded, that's a disappointment.

“You're talking about a set-piece, you’re talking about a mistake and a worldie of a goal, so I think that's where the work is going forward.

“We have worked at set-pieces a lot in pre-season, for and against, that’s the disappointment, conceding from a set-play.

"But we’ve scored from a second phase and scored direct from a corner, so there’s positives in that, it’s just a measurement of where we are.

“We need to be better, we need to sustain our possession for 90 minutes.

“First half we tactically caused them problems, we managed to get a switch and get Craig McManaman one v one on a number of occasions, but it was a very interesting night.

“I enjoyed the environment, I thought the Luton Town fans were magnificent and long may that continue as we’re going to need everybody.

“I enjoyed the honesty of the performance and I enjoyed the intelligence of the performance, so a decent start, but lots of work to do.”

Jones knows that his side struggled at times after the break to keep pace with their opponents, but wasn’t surprised to see that happening, given the fact their opponents were in the top flight not too long ago.

He continued: “I was delighted with the tactical performance, I thought second half we lost our way a little bit, for maybe 20 minutes.

“Maybe it was tiredness, but Middlesbrough have got Premier League physical specimens and I think for a period that caught up with us.

“When we made the substitutions, we addressed that balance and seemed to get back into it, so lots to learn from.”

The result saw Hatters at the summit before the Saturday matches, putting Town in a position that Jones would love remain in come the end of the campaign.

He added: “If we’re top of the table in May I’d be delighted, but for all Luton Town fans, lets enjoy the moment first.”