Hatters boss admits he had been feeling the pressure ahead of Coventry hammering

Town chief explains his reserved celebrations after magnificent midweek win

By Mike Simmonds
Thursday, 30th September 2021, 10:59 am
Updated Thursday, 30th September 2021, 11:00 am
Hatters boss Nathan Jones applauds the Town fans after hammering Coventry City 5-0 on Wednesday night
Hatters boss Nathan Jones applauds the Town fans after hammering Coventry City 5-0 on Wednesday night

Luton boss Nathan Jones admitted he had been feeling the pressure going into last night’s game against Coventry following a run of six games without a victory, his worst in the two spells as manager at Kenilworth Road.

Although the sequence wasn’t as bad as it seemed on paper, Town drawing four of those matches, one with former Premier League side Sheffield United, plus dominating at Bristol City and also being 3-0 up against Swansea, pegged back in injury time, it was still a major cause of frustration for the Hatters chief.

Fast forward 90 minutes though and that pressure had been relieved, in quite magnificent fashion too, Town putting five past a high-flying Coventry City team who had conceded just six goals in nine games this season prior to the, Luton producing a performance that left those inside Kenilworth Road positively drooling.

On getting back to winning ways once more, Jones said: “For me, I’ve been under a lot of pressure, I put a lot of pressure on myself as I haven't been on a run like that, apart from when I was at Stoke, but it’s really pleasing.

“I don’t sleep, my wife is on the brink of leaving me, literally, all these things happen because I’m consumed with the club and the work that I do, so when things don’t go right it’s very difficult.

"But I lead the team, I lead the group along with Gary (Sweet, chief executive) and the board, I lead the club, so I can’t afford to be like that, I have to drive that on.

"When I drive that on and I get a response to that, everything's worth it and that’s what we did tonight.

"I’m really, really proud of the performance as it was a wonderful performance and take into consideration the opposition were a good side, even better.”

Town’s thumping triumph was the first time they had scored five goals in the Championship since beating Leeds United 5-1 back in October 2006.

It was also the first time they had bagged four in a half at this level since defeating Norwich City 4-2 in October 2005 and equalled their best margin of victory in the second tier since thrashing Barnsley 5-0 in October 1993, when John Hartson and Scott Oakes were both on target.

Despite the stunning nature of the victory, Jones was fairly reserved in his celebrations afterwards, as on why that was, he said: “We came off here and I had fans shaking their heads when we drew 3-3 with Swansea and looking at me as if 'sort it out' and so on.

"I would have liked to have embraced them a little bit more tonight, but I just felt it wasn’t the right moment as they need to realise where we are as well.

"The fans were magnificent tonight, but we gave them a performance that they probably haven't seen for a long, long time.

“Bearing in mind the opposition as they could have gone top of the Championship, from start to finish, without being disrespectful, I thought we dominated the game.

"If anyone wants to argue that, I’m prepared to sit down and watch the game, I thought we were dominant and we know we can do that.”

With Town 3-0 up against the Sky Blues and cruising, there were still a few nervy souls inside the ground who were quick to point out the Hatters had been in exactly the same position against Swansea in their last home outing, only to leave with just a point.

This time, there was no such chance of history repeating itself, as the hosts added two more to seal victory, as Jones felt there were mitigating factors in the collapse against the Swans, as he added: "We were in control from moment one, you shouldn’t lose a three goal lead, but the circumstances behind the Swansea one, we should have been five up against Swansea.

"Swansea got away with absolute murder here, let’s not make any mistake, they scored three from outside the box, two with huge deflections, so there’s real context in that performance.

"Then we'd come off the back of two big away games, which is the ridiculous EFL thing of two away, it doesn’t help, so there’s real context in that.

"But to come out against a Swansea side who want to play, to really run over them and to annihilate them for 45 minutes, it’s very difficult to do that, but tonight was a complete performance from start to finish.”