Jones explains his decision to make four changes

Nathan Jones makes his point against Southend
Nathan Jones makes his point against Southend

Hatters boss Nathan Jones felt it was a case of going back to basics after deciding to make four changes for the League One clash with Southend United last night.

The Town chief made some big calls, opting to drop club captain Alan Sheehan, striker James Collins and goalkeeper Marek Stech to the bench after Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Peterborough, while Alan McCormack missed out through injury.

In came James Shea, Glen Rea, Jorge Grant and Andrew Shinnie, with the move paying off as Town picked up a first victory of the campaign, triumphing 2-0.

Speaking afterwards, Jones said: “First of all, performance levels on Saturday weren’t good enough first half.

“I took responsibility for changing the shape, because we’re big believers in what we do, and if I didn’t change the shape it would have been a different outcome.

“Whether we’d have won the game, we wouldn’t have lost three goals in the first half, but we didn’t defend well enough, they didn’t do the basics well enough.

“So I went back to the team tonight that I believed were going to do the basics very well.

“We were less expansive in terms of how we played, but we were far more effective.

“I thought James Shea didn’t have that much to do in terms of saves, but he kicked well, his decision making was good, he looked a calming influence.

“The two centre halves (Sonny Bradley and Matty Pearson) were absolutely magnificent, won every header, defended the box fantastically well, against a very, very good pair.

“(Tom) Hopper and (Simon) Cox are very good at this level, trust me on this one, so that was a magnificent, the back four, everyone.

“Then we worked really hard, we looked solid, we looked strong.

"Yes we had to defend a few crosses, they put crosses in from absolutely everywhere, so we had to defend the first ball as that was as direct a team that has come here for a long time and we did that, so I’m delighted.”

On the three who were amongst the substitutes last night, Jones continued: “Alan McCormack was enforced and Glen Rea came in and did magnificently, he was a rock, but the other three are difficult as they’re big players.

“Marek Stech, Alan Sheehan and James Collins have been big players and done magnificently well and for different reasons we felt we needed to change things.

“In hindsight it’s proved to be the right one, but who’s to say if I’d gone with the others it wouldn’t have been the same result anyway.

“But they’re good players, they worked hard, they’re fantastic pros and I’m glad I was able to change it up with the the quality we did and I’m glad we got the result.”

Striker Elliot Lee, who was pushed upfront alongside Danny Hylton with Collins making way, hadn’t been too shocked to see the selection, adding: “I’m not sure we were surprised, after the way we conceded goals in the first half at Peterborough, I think there had to be a little change.

“It’s good to mix it up, we’ve got a great squad, great competition, so why not use it? Why not use different people and see what the best formation and the best side is.

“We’ve got great competition, so lets use it.”