Jones demands Hatters don’t wilt under the pressure

James Collins sent this acrobatic volley wide against Wycombe
James Collins sent this acrobatic volley wide against Wycombe

Hatters boss Nathan Jones has urged his side don’t slip into their old habits from last season and wilt under the pressure of a promotion charge this time round.

Luton had a wonderful chance to put real daylight between themselves and the chasing pack on Tuesday evening, only to slip to a 3-2 defeat at home to Wycombe Wanderers.

That saw the Chairboys close the gap to eight points, with Saturday’s opponents Exeter a further one adrift with two games in hand.

A frustrated Jones, who saw his side fall 2-0 and 3-1 behind on the night, said: “Every time we get an opportunity to pull away as we could have really made a statement, we seem to wilt ant that was symptomatic last year and we’ve got to make sure we change that.

“There is a big group chasing, but teams have got to win a lot of games.

“We’ve got to make sure we win the games, we’re still a good side, it was a wonderful end-to-end game and an open game, but we showed what a wonderful side we are in possession and an attacking side.

There is a big group chasing, but teams have got to win a lot of games.

Nathan Jones

“We should have scored more than we did, but we’ve got to defend better, we’ve got to defend better as you give yourselves a mountain to climb when you concede after a minute.

“We’ve been naive in our defending and that’s been a real disappointment for us and it’s stuff that we’ve earmarked as well, so I can’t give them anymore info.

“We gave ourselves an opportunity as we had enough chances, especially first half to have gone in level.

“We got one, then you think okay, we came out and in possession second half we were very good, we played very well and then got hit with a counter attack.

“Credit to them because we’d be pleased with that, but we haven’t done things right.”

Meanwhile, full back Jack Stacey knew just what a huge chance Town had wasted on the evening as well, adding: “We’re massively disappointed, it was such a big chance for us against a big team, but credit to Wycombe.

“They came here with a plan, they matched us up with a diamond and we just have to look forward to Saturday, another big game.

“The first goal is poor from us, we think we should do better to stop them and we went 1-0 down.

“We had a mountain to climb, but we have belief as we did it against Lincoln, we did believe if we kept playing our way that we’d get back into the game but it wasn’t to be.”