Luton boss: We're so close to being a very good side in the Championship

Hatters chief rues not being able to put other teams to bed

By Mike Simmonds
Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 10:37 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 10:39 am
Town striker Elijah Adebayo looks to win the ball against QPR on Friday night
Town striker Elijah Adebayo looks to win the ball against QPR on Friday night

Luton chief Nathan Jones insists his side are ‘so close’ to being a very good side in the Championship despite Friday evening’s 2-0 defeat to QPR seeing the Hatters lose for a third time in four matches.

Although the points stayed in west London, on another night Town could well have been walking away from the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium with the win themselves, had their shooting been anywhere near up to scratch, with 16 efforts in total, but only three at the target.

They were punished by a clinical QPR team, who netted both of their attempts on goal through Chris Willock and Charlie Austin, both coming within 10 minutes of the restart of either half, when the Hatters had been on top.

It led Jones to say: “We’re so close to being a very good side.

"We’re an aggressive side and we’re creating a lot of chances.

"We’re fourth, fifth top scorers in the league, but we haven’t got the points that we should have.

"And that’s because one, we don’t put teams to bed and two, we tend to concede at times to the only chance we concede.

“That’s been a problem because don’t give up many chances.

“We’re very good statistically, it's just when teams do have a chance they score.

“If we demonstrate the same level of quality we’d be top four, but we’re not, so we can’t say if.

"We’ve just got to keep going, keep positive, because there's a very good side there, it's just everything has to come together.”

When asked if having someone like last season's stand-out player, Leicester City’s Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, would have made the difference on Friday night, Jones continued: “We created enough, so if we had a Dewsbury-Hall, he creates a bit more quality, but I thought our midfield three were excellent.

"They got hold of it, they pressed well, they limited them to very little.

"(Ilias) Chair and Willock created very little, Willock scored from our corner, but apart from that, we limited them.

"Yes they’ll have nice little passes and triangles as they pack the midfield, but they didn’t penetrate us, they didn’t get in behind us, they didn’t cause us masses of problems.

"I thought we really caused them problems when we pressed and we got in.

"They were defending last ditch, it's just we didn’t show the level of quality when we had those opportunities and that’s something that needs to change.

“You’re going to be disappointed every time you lose a game, but the manner we’ve lost it, there’s so much right with the performance, but we’ve lost the game and that’s the thing.”

Meanwhile, the Hatters now head to Nottingham Forest this evening to take on a side who have changed leadership in recent weeks, former Swansea boss coming in to take over from Chris Hughton, who Jones worked with at Brighton & Hove Albion.

It has led to a serious upturn in form for the Reds who have won five and drawn four of the former England U16 and U17 manager's first 10 games.

Jones added: “Coops has done really well.

"I’ve know the previous two managers now, but it’ll be a tough game.

"It's another away game, but we’re in an element of decent form, it’s just we have to make sure that we are a little bit more disciplined.”