Luton Town’s 4-2 victory over Lincoln City on New Year’s Day was a marker of just how far the side have come for manager Nathan Jones.
The Hatters chief had seen his side beaten 1-0 at Portsmouth in a disappointing game just 12 months previously as they endured a season that eventually ended in play-off heartache.
It’s a totally different place and a totally different mindset from a year ago.Nathan Jones
That loss at Fratton Park though was a crucial one in terms of Jones’s plans for which of his players he could take forward at Kenilworth Road to mount a serious promotion challenge.
He said: “A year ago I came back and was at a real low ebb in a lot of things, personally, and after the Portsmouth game where Cameron McGeehan had broken his leg.
“I realised in the group that I had, that three or four of them couldn’t handle big games.
“So I knew that if we were going to get up that we needed to be all out.
“Today I’m in a totally different place, we’re top of the league, with a group that can handle big occasions. It’s a totally different place and a totally different mindset from a year ago.”
On the display against Lincoln, Jones continued: “Some of the goals were brilliant, the awareness and cutting edge for the first one and that was coming.
“The build up play, we were getting into good areas, wonderful finish and wonderful set-up.
“Then James (Justin) has done brilliant, they’ve had a similar chance that hit the post, and then we’ve shown real cutting edge.
“The ball from (Luke) Berry for (Danny) Hylton’s goal is wonderful and then (Harry) Cornick shows why is such an impact late on and then we put a nice little cherry on the icing on the cake.”