Jones: We got our just rewards with Tykes victory

Luton boss Graeme Jones at Oakwell this afternoon
Luton boss Graeme Jones at Oakwell this afternoon

Luton chief Graeme Jones felt his side finally got their rewards with a first win of the Championship season this afternoon, beating Barnsley 3-1.

After impressive displays in the first four league matches of the campaign, Town had picked up only one point from 12 for their efforts, but rectified that in real style at Oakwell.

The visitors raced into a 3-0 lead by half time, before digging in to ensure the Tykes didn't mount an unlikely comeback, as Jones said: “It’s a reward for nine weeks, the boys have been magnificent, every single one of them and I mean magnificent.

“These characters are outstanding, and you feel for them at times when they give everything they’ve got like they did at Sheffield Wednesday and at Cardiff and you get negative things happen to you.

"So I think the reward for the lads is a great feeling.

“We’ve not stopped once, the boys have been in every Sunday and we’ve worked tactically, we’ve tried to improve, we’ve had debriefs, a large part of my work is reviewing games, it takes a long, long time.

“But the progress we’ve had with it, when you can’t train as much, when you’re playing three games a week, by the time this time next Saturday comes, we’ll have played seven games in 21 days.

“It’s demanding, the tempo has gone up, the physicality has gone up with the league, so I’m just really pleased where we sit today, but we can’t stand still we have to push forward.”

Although the Hatters led 2-0 at Barnsley on four minutes through Jacob Butterfield and James Collins, with Harry Cornick adding a third on the half hour, Jones admitted he never felt comfortable despite the advantage.

He continued: “Not for me it didn’t, what it was, was 66 minutes left at that point with the extra time.

“You’re guarding against Barnsley getting a goal back as they can get the momentum with the crowd here.

“Football’s never straight forward, I’m sure they’ll have seen on the TV, 3-0 up, that’s it, done and dusted, it doesn’t work like that.

“We had to do play, we had to show a dogged side of us, we had to defend as a group.

“I think we played in a different way today than what we’ve played in the first four games of the season and I was really, really pleased with it.

“I said to the boys after the Sheffield Wednesday game, we did a debrief on the game post-match, went through everything and I knew we were really, really close.

“But there comes a point when you have to win a game of football, no matter who you are.

“The physical barrier was getting broken down game by game and week by week.

“We got done 60 minutes at Cardiff and then it was a minimum of six minutes against West Brom and on Tuesday night at Sheffield Wednesday it was one action.

“I knew we were getting close, but the players still have to put that into practice and actions speak louder than words.

“I said there was a point where we just have to win a football match and that’s what we did, and we’ll take that, we’ll take a lot psychologically from it.”

Jones admitted he didn’t care who was on target for the Hatters, the win was all he was after, adding: “James bundled one in and Harry Cornick, it was one of those days, I didn’t care who scored, I didn’t care how it was scored.

“We just needed to win the game and that’s a mentality we’re talking about.

“We worked on Thursday and Friday in the final third about hurting teams, about being a bit more threatening and a bit more penetrating, a bit more positive, a bit more purpose about us, don’t hope to score, make sure you score.

“There’s a different mentality and I couldn’t be happier with where we are today.”