Jones: It’s wonderful to be at the summit again

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Luton Town boss Nathan Jones was left to reflect on pretty much the perfect week so far as his side returned to the League Two summit by beating Carlisle United 3-0 last night.

The Hatters leapfrogged rivals Notts County to top spot with the Magpies held at Yeovil Town, thanks to goals from Andrew Shinnie, Dan Potts and Harry Cornick.

Unless you’re the most pessimistic human in history, I think that’s as good as it gets.

Nathan Jones

That came after hammering seven past Cambridge United at the weekend, to make it 10 goals, six points and two clean sheets in two games, as Jones said: “Unless you’re the most pessimistic human in history, I think that’s as good as it gets.

“To go back to the top of the league is wonderful, but it’s the level of performance we’re churning out at the minute which is the most pleasing thing.

“As we know we have quality, but the work-rate, the desire to do well, the desire to do the ugly things and all the stuff that doesn’t bring the glory, is the fundamental foundation that we’re based on.”

Jones felt that coming up against a side of the standard of the Cumbrians helped his team maintain their focus after Saturday’s thumping victory.

Keith Curle’s side had been unbeaten in seven ahead of the fixture, beating Grimsby 1-0 at the weekend too, as Jones continued: “If you keep clean sheets then we have firepower that can definite get a goal a game, but it wasn’t an anti climax after the weekend and that was the professionalism they needed to show, because it would be easy to get carried away with a 7-0 home win.

“But I think the level of opposition we came up against, made sure we were at that level because these have the same aspirations as us.

“So we knew we needed to be right at it to get the three points, and praise the lord we were.

“We knew it was going to be a difficult game, because Carlisle coming here, in real good form, got real good players, especially for the level, experience, they’ve got a good blend of everything.

“We knew they’d try to make it hard for us, changing shape, going three at the back and I just thought it was a real good night.

“We were excellent first half, we moved the ball well, scored a great first goal, scored another one from a set play because we’re proving potent from those now.

“Then second half we knew they’d have to come out a little bit so we knew, one, we’d have to defend well, but two, we were always a threat on the counter and I thought we were and it was an excellent performance.”

The Hatters could have won by more had Danny Hylton converted a late penalty too, but Jones felt the final result was a deserved one for his table-toppers.

He added: “We were the better side first half, they tried to hit us on the counter, tried to play, it was a real good tactical battle first half, and these are a good side.

“But to get two up, we knew second half that we just had to be disciplined. If we’re disciplined, we defended well, didn’t give them something early, we knew that we’d get opportunities and it could have been a little bit more as we did actually miss a penalty as well.

“I don’t think the scoreline flattered us in any kind of way either.

“I didn’t envisage we’d win it by three, I thought it would be a tight game, they’ve got real good players, look at the midfield two, (Mike) Jones and (Luke) Joyce, real experience.

“Clint Hill, he’s got more promoted more times than Alan Sugar, so (Danny) Grainger, (Gary) Liddle, have got great experience.

“We knew it would be a tough, tough game, but we’re in good form at the minute and when we get up and get goals up, then we know it’s difficult to peg us back.

“As to peg us back you have to come out and when you come out, we have threats on the counter as well.

“As I said, with slightly more of a cutting edge and Danny finishing his penalty, it could have been more.”