Jones: Addicks win is a key moment for Hatters

Town chief Graeme Jones felt last night’s 2-1 victory over Charlton Athletic represented a ‘key moment’ in his side’s battle to stay in the Championship this season.

Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 9:23 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 10:48 am
Hatters boss Graeme Jones celebrates beating Charlton at Kenilworth Road last night

The Hatters went into the fixture on the back of a five game losing run, having slipped into the relegation zone, as another defeat would have seen them starting to get cut adrift of the teams above them.

When Jonathan Leko opened the scoring for the visitors on seven minutes, it looked like the hosts were up against it once more, but Town showed great character to come back, thanks to Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu's equaliser 12 minutes later and then Izzy Brown's winner early in the second half.

It saw Town climb out of the bottom three and move above Wigan Athletic in the process, as Jones said: "I was really, really satisfied with our performance on Saturday as I have to see beyond results sometimes.

“I have to see if we’re making progress and I felt we were, but there comes to a point where you've got to get a football result and I said that to the boys tonight.

“They've got six months work in them, in every area, but they've been challenged tactically in every single game, there's been a different set of tactics apart from the last two.

“I picked the same team, I was fortunate enough to do that, and I asked the boys to take responsibility, as they've got enough information in them.

“I think Charlton changed their shape three times in the game, we adapted quickly, they adapted on the pitch, the players took responsibility for that.

"There comes a point where the boys have got to take responsibility and we were there tonight, and it was a key moment.

“There's a real honesty in the group, there's an honesty in the football club.

"The Reading game looked a bit distorted, it wasn’t a lack of effort, it was maybe personnel and the shape that day, but I’ll take responsibility for that.

"But outside of that, the boy's character is magnificent and I've been brutally honest with them from minute one, I've not hidden anything.

"I've supported them when I needed to and I think you got an honest reaction tonight, from a group of players and a group of staff, that care about the football club.

"I think as a football club we need to know we're in a relegation fight and we all need to stick together, because it will be worth it in the end.

"I've been in this situation before, and so far we've got to continue as it's not going to be straight forward."

Town might have won by more on the night, with the woodwork denying them twice, while Harry Cornick sliced wide and Izzy Brown came close from two free kicks.

Jones continued: "The keeper made a magnificent save from his (Brown's) free kick first half.

"I think of Collo (James Collins) hitting the bar, Shins (Andrew Shinnie) hitting the bar, tonight was a good performance, Saturday was a good performance.

"We didn't get a result on Saturday but tonight we did. So the consistency in performance I've been pleased with since we came in, apart from the Reading game.

"That's all you can ask for, results will follow if you get that level of consistency and we got it tonight.”

After Saturday's heartbreaking 2-1 defeat to Leeds United, with the winner coming in the 90th minute, Jones felt his side used their experience from that encounter to ensure there was no repeat last night.

He added: "I think we learned our lessons from the weekend as we defended well, but we didn’t defend so deep.

"Harry (Cornick) and Izzy were capable of completing 90 minutes, as the subs really affected us at the weekend.

"Sometimes it’s difficult to come on and pick up the tempo of the game as Kaz (Kazenga LuaLua) and Callum (McManaman) have had an influence in every game I've brought them on, it just didn't happen on Saturday.

"So we managed to get them through 90, we managed to make sure we weren't in a deep block, a little bit of a mid-block.

"But it was the boy's character and the boy's attitude that won the game, it’s as simple as that."