Jones lauds Town's 'phenomenal' defensive display as Luton earn an 18th clean sheet at Cardiff

Hatters boss thrilled by side’s determination not to concede during 1-0 win

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 6:45 am
Robert Snodgrass and Nathan Jones celebrate Luton's 1-0 win over Cardiff
Robert Snodgrass and Nathan Jones celebrate Luton's 1-0 win over Cardiff

Luton boss Nathan Jones hailed his side’s ‘phenomenal’ defensive display as they kept yet another clean sheet during Easter Monday’s 1-0 victory at Cardiff City.

The Hatters made it 18 games without being breached this term, their eighth on the road as well, as they sit joint top of the miserly charts with Bournemouth, Huddersfield Town and Sheffield United.

The will to win was there for all to see in Wales, with the back five constantly clearing the danger, midfield duo Robert Snodgrass and Kal Naismith constantly throwing themselves in front of shots, Allan Campbell showing remarkable reserves of energy, and substitute Peter Kioso making some heroic leaps to head away in the closing stages.

It was all started by the front two of Harry Cornick and Elijah Adebayo as well, and reflecting on another terrific defensive display, which was achieved with Harry Isted on for his league debut after an injury to James Shea late in the first half, Jones said: “If you’re a manager and you’re looking at that, you know you’ve got a group that’s just phenomenal.

“Cardiff are putting everything in the box, they’ve got big ones, big Uche (Ikpeazu) comes on, he’s difficult to mark but they're just defending their goal, defending their three points, trying to defend their position in the league and it’s wonderful to see.

“There are a lot of sides that are far more fluent and graceful than how we played today, but they don't do what we do out of possession.”

Town’s solid platform gave the attackers the chance to do what they do best, as with 19 minutes to go, Snodgrass picked out Cornick to climb highest and head past Dillon Phillips for his 12th of the season, securing yet another crucial three points.

The match-winner was eager to praise Luton’s back-line though, adding: “It’s a massive win.

"It’s into the last stages of the season where every point matters, we knew it would be a tough game and we’ve come out with three points, delighted.

“We worked really hard, we had Forest on Friday, two days off and then straight into another tough game, another tough game.

"The boys gave their all against Forest, they really did, everyone left their legs on the pitch and then you’ve got to come here, got to work hard, keep going.

"The back four, back five, (Harry) Isted coming in, they’ve been unbelievable, two clean sheets in two really tough games, they deserve all the credit they do.”

The victory was picked up at a price for the Hatters though, as they suffered what looked like serious injuries to James Shea (knee) and James Bree (ankle), who both left the ground on crutches.

Fred Onyedinma also had to be taken off following a tight groin, as Jones said: “It comes at a cost all the time.

"We’re at our limit at the minute, but we’re somehow finding a way to win games, two 1-0’s over Easter, six points over Easter.

"They’ve had the luxury of probably taking this game slightly more seriously than they did the Hull game (2-1 defeat on Good Friday).

"They rested all their big players for this game, so they come into it far fresher than we do, but ours just give us everything and somehow find a way to get a win.”