Town boss felt Luton were tactically 'superb' in dealing with Forest's threats in Good Friday triumph

Hatters manager praises Onyedinma and Bell’s displays

By Mike Simmonds
Sunday, 17th April 2022, 9:21 pm

Town boss Nathan Jones felt his side produced a ‘superb’ tactical performance during their 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Good Friday.

Going up against a Reds team who were unbeaten in 10 matches, with five straight victories under their belts, Jones opted to switch things around, with Fred Onyedinma going to a left wing-back role and Amari’i Bell dropping slightly deeper, to combat a visiting side containing two of the nominees for the Championship Young Player of the Season award in Brennan Johnson and Djed Spence.

It worked a treat too, as bar Spence going through to score a goal that was flagged offside, the pair weren’t able to cause the kind of havoc they have done in recent games, Johnson having just one shot on target, that saved by Town stopper James Shea.

An elated Jones said: “That’s the character of this group and the belief that they have in what we do, and it was phenomenal.

“We’ve asked them to do something different, I thought tactically we were superb in terms of two of the outstanding young individuals in the league this year have been Brennan Johnson and Djed Spence.

"We went Amari’i Bell and Onyedinma against them and I felt they were exceptional, so tactically I thought we were brilliant.

"We went up against a top, top side and managed to get the win.”

Fred Onyedinma started on the left wing for Luton on Good Friday

With Forest the in-form side in the division, and also still having a chance of automatic promotion with Bournemouth stuttering in recent weeks, rather than be happy with a point, Jones instructed his side to go on the offensive when possible, which paid off handsomely.

He continued: “We showed good character.

"We kept digging in, we know we can defend well, we’re the highest in the league for clean sheets, we work hard, we press high, we don’t sit in and defend and sit off people.

“Respectfully, we went to Huddersfield, they sat in, wanted to hit us on the counter attack, we go after teams.

"We go after Huddersfield, we push the boundaries, we want to be brave, want to be bold and I thought we were magnificent.”

Former Scottish international Robert Snodgrass made his first start for the Hatters in a midfield containing Kal Naismith and Allan Campbell, the former elevated from his usual role in the back three, as Jones was impressed with the contribution of the former Leeds and West Ham player.

He added: “We knew we’d need him sooner or later.

"We didn’t quite know that eight central midfielders would be injured, or eight people who can play in that position, and that’s the thing we have.

"They’ve been very settled Forest in the team that they’ve had in terms of what they’ve done and the 11 they’ve had.

"We’ve had to chop and change through no fault of our own, so it just shows the character we’ve had and I’m so proud of the group.”