Hatters boss felt he could have been 'bolder' in his selection against Millwall

Town manager discusses Lions point

By Mike Simmonds
Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 10:44 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 10:50 am
Town substitute Fred Onyedinma against his former side on Saturday
Town substitute Fred Onyedinma against his former side on Saturday

Hatters boss Nathan Jones felt he might have been ‘bolder’ in the starting XI he sent out to face Millwall in their 2-2 draw at Kenilworth Road on Saturday.

The Town manager made four changes to his side from the 3-1 win at Hull City before the international break, bringing in Kal Naismith, Tom Lockyer, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu and Henri Lansbury.

Dropped to the bench were Fred Onyedinma and Peter Kioso, with Luke Berry and Jordan Clark out injured, but when Onyedinma was introduced just after the hour mark, he terrorised his former side at times, racing away on the right flank to create a number of opportunities.

Fouled for the free kick that led to Luton’s late equaliser, another exciting foray almost led to an even later winner, as Jones said: “I probably could’ve been a bit bolder in my selection.

“I played a back three that were a bit more tried and trusted, whereas in recent weeks, they were probably eye-openers, the back three, but they’ve been excellent, outstanding and front-footed, so there’s maybe a learning curve there.”

Despite missing out on all three points against the Lions, Jones reiterated his belief that it was a good result for his side, especially as it came following a fortnight off and up against Gary Rowett’s team who had gone into the game on the back of just one defeat in 10 themselves.

It also ensured the visitors remained six points behind Town in the play-off battle with seven matches to go, as Jones continued: “It was a positive point.

"We would have liked three, especially at home, but we have to pay the league, Millwall and the competition real respect.

"Millwall are a real good side and they are a rival of ours.

"The fact we didn’t lose was one positive, the fact that we came from behind twice was another and the second half performance was more us.

"With a bit more clinical edge, because we had about 24 crosses into the box, we had some real clear-cut chances, we wanted to win the game, there are things we have to be better at but it was a positive point.

"And to come off the back of a two-week break where we gave them eight days off because they needed it, hopefully we will really see the benefit of that in the coming weeks."

Jones was also impressed with the manner in which his team stood up to the challenge that an imposing opposition presented throughout the 90 minutes, as he added: “If you’re going to beat Millwall then you've got to be physical as Millwall are a physical side.

"They do the basics right, Gary’s side always do the basics right, at Millwall they have to do it as it’s a prerequisite if you play for the club.

“They edged it first half I thought, second half I thought we were much, much better.

"Harry Cornick has a glorious opportunity to put us ahead which might have changed the game, but I think overall it’s a fair result.

"Two sides really trying to win it, they would have been disappointed as they’d been in front twice, but we have a never say die attitude here.

"Even when we scored, we went and got the ball because we believed we could go and win it, it shows good character, good attitude from us.”