Jones thrilled to gain victory at Barnsley after Oakwell defeat during first spell in charge

Nathan Jones celebrates victory at Barnsley on SaturdayNathan Jones celebrates victory at Barnsley on Saturday
Nathan Jones celebrates victory at Barnsley on Saturday
Hatters boss makes it 11 unbeaten on the road as Town chief

Luton manager Nathan Jones was more than satisfied to return triumphant from the venue of his last away defeat as Luton boss on Saturday, with a 1-0 win at Oakwell.

Back on October 13, 2018, Jones was in charge of a Town side who were beaten 3-2 by Barnsley, ex-Hatter Cameron McGeehan among the goals.

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However, they then went on a 13-game unbeaten run on the road, part of a record-breaking 28 match sequence without defeat, with Jones at the helm for six of the clashes away from Kenilworth Road, before he moved to Stoke City at the turn of the year.

He has now gone 11 games without suffering an away reverse, after three wins and a draw when the campaign resumed after lockdown and on Saturday's victory, he said: “It was my last away defeat, it was, but we’re different now.

“I felt at the time, Luton and Barnsley were the best two sides in the league, a lot of people were mentioning Sunderland and Portsmouth, I knew that us and them were the best two sides.

“Now I always believe that neither one of us will be in the position we were in last year.

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"I think they’re a good side, their manager has done fantastically well, they've got a young, energetic side and they go after teams.

“It showed against Forest last week, they beat Nottingham Forest who narrowly missed out on the play-offs last year, so they’re a good side and I’m really pleased.

“It's great to get off to a win, as you don’t want to lose and then think 'where’s my first win coming from.'

"We’ve put that to bed now, so now we’re looking for the second one.”

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Scoring against a Tykes side was no mean feat either, with the hosts not conceding a goal since March 7, with Millwall, Blackburn, Wigan and Nottingham Forest, twice, unable to breach them, a run of five fixtures.

However, James Collins changed all that, blasting home the winner with 18 minutes left, as Jones continued: “These are a good side, in 10, 12, 15 games, you’ll see where these are, and they won’t be in the position they were last year, I’m telling you that.

“So for us to come here and win, and the manner of the win, backs that up, because we limited a very energetic side to minimal efforts and I’m really pleased with that.”

The victory was enough to lift Hatters up into sixth place in the fledgling Championship table, which after fighting to stay up from the moment he was reappointed in May, wasn't lost on Jones.

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He added: "Bearing in mind we’ve stepped up a level now, we’re the Championship, we said we don’t want to be anywhere near where we were and that’s a good start.

“We’ve got to build a foundation and build the blocks so that we are not scratching and trying to climb and try to go after and try to chase teams.

"What we want to do is we want to be in the mix, we want to be in a position so that teams are not coming to us and think 'these are easy, these are going to concede.'

"We've conceded one in six games through pre-season and today and that's the foundation we have to make sure we have week in week out.

"I'm really, really proud, we’ve got to get a little bit better in our final third and our fluency, but that will come."