Jones wants Town to end 'sticky' run of form and not lose any further ground on play-off places

Luton chief prepares for clash with Cardiff City at Kenilworth Road

By Mike Simmonds
Saturday, 27th November 2021, 8:27 am
Updated Saturday, 27th November 2021, 8:30 am
Luton boss Nathan Jones
Luton boss Nathan Jones

Town boss Nathan Jones wants his side to end their 'sticky' run of form and not lose any further ground on the Championship play-offs when hosting Cardiff City this afternoon.

The Hatters had been as high as fifth recently, but a sequence of one win in five, with three defeats, has seen then drop down to 12th, as they now trail the top six by six points.

Town are up against a Bluebirds team who have their own struggles at the other end of the division this term, sitting just three points above the relegation zone, as Jones said: “We’re still right in there but we don’t want to let gaps appear.

“We believe we’re good enough to be in and around it so we have to make sure we turn performances into points.

“We tweaked a few little things on Tuesday to make sure we were defensively solid and we kept a clean sheet, we got that.

“Even when they had 11 men, contrary to anything, we were comfortable for an away team going to a fantastic football club.

“Their only chance came from an error from us really, we took a bad touch and we gifted them an opportunity.

"That was the only thing they created in 90 minutes so that is a good performance from us.”

Although Luton have taken just four points from their last five outings, with losses to Preston, Stoke and QPR, Jones was still satisfied with the level of performances his team were producing.

The boss continued: “It is about keeping things consistent because we’re at a real good level in terms of defending well, pressing well, moving the ball, creating chances, limiting the opposition to very little and something has to turn, as long as your processes are good and you maintain those.

"We’re not in disastrous form, we’re in a bit of sticky form.

"In the last six games we have won two, drawn one and lost three which isn’t disastrous, it’s just not where we want to be.

"Our performance levels have been very good, we feel we have been unfortunate but it is about turning those unfortunate games into points and that is what we want to do.”

The main issue surrounding Luton at the moment is their lack of goals, now on a run of three games without scoring, having gone almost five hours since Harry Cornick netted in the 3-1 win over Middlesbrough.

They have drawn blanks in four of their last five fixtures too, as on what they can do to reverse the trend, Jones said: “We stick to our strategies and principles but we demand a little bit more.

"We work slightly more on certain things but we have created enough chances.

"I watch Championship games all the time, minimum six or seven per week and we’re creating as many if not more than most teams in the Championship, so we just have to take a few of those.

"We were free-scoring for a bit and we’re now top six in terms of goals.

"It's just because we have had a tough last three games where we haven’t found the back of the net.

"We’ve had penalties, point-blank efforts saved, we’ve hit the bar, had 16 shots against QPR, another 10 against Nottingham Forest.

"Our numbers are good but we have to take a chance and Saturday is a chance to do that.”

The absence of Luke Berry has coincided with Town’s poor run too, as he had four goals in just seven outings, before suffering a knee injury in the 1-0 win over Hull last month.

It has put extra pressure on Elijah Adebayo and Harry Cornick, who are on eight and nine respectively this term, as no-one bar Fred Onyedinma has found the net more than once.

Jones added: “We’re not just relying on the front two, we have Admiral Muskwe and Fred Onyedinma that have to chip in, set-plays we have to be better, so all round we have to be better and chip in, it’s not just the front two we rely on.

"We’ve had opportunities, James Bree, Allan Campbell and Henri Lansbury all had shots on Tuesday night.

"Plenty are having opportunities and shots, we just have to demonstrate more quality, that’s all.”