Luton chief praises his side's character during Bristol City win

Hatters didn't let their heads drop after Robins equaliser

By Mike Simmonds
Thursday, 31st December 2020, 12:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st December 2020, 12:30 pm
Luton boss Nathan Jones
Luton boss Nathan Jones

Town boss Nathan Jones paid credit to his side’s character as they picked up another crucial Championship victory by beating Bristol City 2-1 on Tuesday night.

After taking the lead through Glen Rea’s brilliant volley during the first half, Luton were then pegged back on the hour mark when captain Sonny Bradley diverted a cross into his own net.

However, rather than go into their shells, Jones brought on both Dan Potts and Kazenga LuaLua for Ryan Tunnicliffe and Pelly-Ryddock Mpanzu, allowing Rhys Norrington-Davies to push further forward.

Once the changes were made, the Hatters began to impose themselves as an attacking force again, with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall finding the bottom corner from 20 yards for his first goal for the club.

They were then able to see the game out without ever really looking like conceding again, as on his side's display once the Robins had equalised, Jones said: “That was massive, as I thought they (City) were pushing everything, they were very direct, they had big lads on the pitch, they were going into front.

“We showed one we could handle that, but two, we came out of it.

“We should have scored more, and I don’t mean loads more, I think Collo’s (James Collins) had the big chance in the game.

“We got into loads of opportunities around the back and just needed a little bit more quality, so I’m very pleased.

“Even if we didn’t play well and won it would have been a big three points, but I think we’ve matched a decent side.”

Jones made six changes for the clash, bringing back Dewsbury-Hall and Norrington-Davies, while also giving Tunnicliffe and fit-against Simon Sluga their first starts in over a month, with Matty Pearson and Harry Cornick included too.

Asked about his decision to make so many alterations from the 2-0 defeat to Reading, Jones continued: “It was a bit of everything really, some were enforced because of certain situations and fatigue, some would have been tactical, and others would have been because we just wanted to freshen stuff up.

"There’s a lot of things you have to consider now, it’s very difficult to just roll out game after game after game after game.

"We've got a little bit of a break in between QPR and then Reading (FA Cup) and then Bournemouth, so we’ll use that to try and get everyone back.”

The victory took Luton on to 30 points already this season, a total Town hadn't reached until their 33rd game last term.

It was enough to see them move 14 points clear of the drop zone and just six off the play-offs, as Jones added: "We’re just delighted, any point at Championship level is a big point and you have to take those when you can.

"Sometimes you have to grind out results when you don’t play well and if you do that then that’s the thing.

"We’ve gone away and played well and not got anything from it, so sometimes you’ve just got to grind them out."