Jones talks up the efforts of his 'scintillating' Hatters during 'the most hectic Championship schedule'

Hatters boss Nathan JonesHatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Luton face their 18th game in 64 days this weekend

Luton boss Nathan Jones insists his side have somehow remained ‘simply scintillating’ despite having to go through what feels has been the joint most hectic of Championship schedules this year.

After a Christmas in which the Hatters went 29 days without a game due to Covid, they finally got up and running once more with an FA Cup third round tie against Harroate at Kenilworth Road on January 9.

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They then had a six day break before taking on Bournemouth in the Championship, as since that remarkable 3-2 victory over the Cherries, Town have had to play league fixture in just over two months, plus two more FA Cup matches too, reaching the fifth round where they lost out 3-2 last year's finalists Chelsea.

It means that in 61 days, Jones' side have been in action 17 times with just one midweek off, playing on average once every three and a half days.

Somehow though they have managed to track up 11 wins in that time, with the Wednesday night victory over Preston leapfrogging Town up to fifth in the table, a wonderful achievement at this stage of the campaign.

Following the trip to Hull on Saturday, an 18th contest in 64 days, Town do then get the benefit of a much-needed fortnight off due to the international break, as it will allow Jones to get a number of his injured players back, Luton without as many as six first-teamers in midweek, seven when Reece Burke limped off.

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Discussing Town's rise up the table through such a congested period of games, the manager said: "We’re losing people left, right and centre, us and Middlesbrough have had the most hectic schedule in the Championship, because of our cup exploits and because of Covid, but we’ve been simply scintillating, we really have.

“To maintain that constantly is difficult with a hectic schedule, with no help from the EFL in terms of no more subs.

"People are having to go through the absolute mire and that’s why sometimes it waters down the Championship season.

"But we’re just showing real, real resilience, real quality at times but a desire to win football games and that’s wonderful, that’s what I’m so proud of.”

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Luton's latest victory came against a Preston side who had gone into the game in excellent form on the road, six games unbeaten on the road, only conceding once in that time.

It was another reason Jones was so impressed with the efforts from his team, continuing: "They’ve lost one in 10, they’ve drawn a lot of games, so that means the margins.

"They’re a Championship side, they’ve got great Championship experience, the manager (Ryan Lowe) is excellent, I know him, so to do that.

"It’s not like, with the greatest of respect, we’ve done that to somebody that’s already down, it’s a wonderful performance.”

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Leading 3-0 at the break, Town made sure there was no repeat of the Swansea clash earlier in the season in which they were pegged back to draw 3-3 from the same position, going for the jugular once more in the second period.

They only added one more through a Bambo Diaby own goal, but might have had more, restricting the visitors to just one real effort, blazed wide by Josh Murphy.

Jones added: "That’s what we wanted to turn into, that kind of side and I'm just so proud of the group.

"It’s not me, it’s so many things have to come right for us to win a Championship game and when we do it right then we’re a good side.

"It’s a shame we couldn’t get the result on the weekend (QPR loss) because who knows where we’d be now if we did?

"But we have to keep bouncing back and keep being consistent and keep moving forward."