‘Brave’ Hatters produce the second half Jones asked for

Nathan Jones hailed his side's second half showing at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday
Nathan Jones hailed his side's second half showing at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday

Luton boss Nathan Jones hailed his side for showing the ‘bravery’ he had demanded during the second half of their 2-0 win at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

With the two sides locked at 0-0 after a first period with precious little goalmouth action, the Hatters looked far more up for it after the interval.

You have to win the war and we did that, our quality showed and I’m very, very pleased.

Nathan Jones

They broke the deadlock through Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu and although Danny Hylton missed a penalty, Elliot Lee’s goal with 10 minutes remaining ensured victory.

Jones’ request was typified by midfielder Andrew Shinnie’s efforts as he ran the games at times, setting up Mpanzu’s opening goal and producing a fine performance, driving forward from the point of the diamond.

The Luton chief continued: “He’s a brave player anyway, that’s why he’s in the side.

“He’s not in the side because of his towering headers, although he won seven or eight towering headers, but he shows that bravery.

“That’s why we brought Shinnie to the club, because of games like this.

“We were a lot more braver in the second half, a lot more like us.

“At times it’s tight as we went diamond for diamond, so you have to win the war and we did that, our quality showed and I’m very, very pleased.”

The Town boss was also pleased to banish memories of the Hatters’ last league visit to the Dons, where they went down 4-1, which saw Jones, then in his sixth game in charge, appear visibly shocked as he walked down the tunnel.

He said: “This was a big game for me as I had my worst defeat here as a manager, when we lost 4-1 and I couldn’t understand how we did as for large parts of the game, we controlled it.

“It’s just we got shocked by the physicality of Wimbledon. Today we matched that all day, we came here and were brave.

Town’s back-line was also praised by Jones as keeper James Shea had very little to deal with, the manager adding: “That’s because we put our head on it, the two centre halves did, Glen Rea was immense again and James Justin won a great header at the back stick.

“(Alan) Sheehan came on and won a header, so they all contributed.

“We knew they’d have to do it as when they’ve got someone like James Hanson playing upfront.

“You know that if they want to use him, they can put balls in the box and he’s a real, real threat,

“He’s been a threat throughout his career, Sheffield United, Bradford, a real, real tough player to play against and I thought we marshalled him fantastically well.

“Any win would have been good,but I’m pleased with that, because it’s a clean sheet, away win, couple of goals, should have been more, but it’s three points.”