Town boss proud as his Luton side are top of the close rangers

Hatters chief believes stat shows they are creating enough chances

By Mike Simmonds
Saturday, 11th December 2021, 9:58 am
Updated Saturday, 11th December 2021, 10:00 am
Elijah Adebayo scores one of Luton's 14 goals from inside the six yard box when netting at Blackpool on Saturday - pic: Gareth Owen
Elijah Adebayo scores one of Luton's 14 goals from inside the six yard box when netting at Blackpool on Saturday - pic: Gareth Owen

Luton boss Nathan Jones felt his side’s stat as the top scorers in all four divisions from inside the six yard box proved they are a real creative force in the Championship this season.

As revealed by Playmakerstats this week, the Hatters are top of the tree when it came to being the most lethal from close range, with 14 of their 30 goals coming from fewer than six yards out.

It was more than Liverpool, Cardiff, Ipswich and Rotherham, the quartet on 12 each, while Manchester City and Wycombe have 11.

With Town the fifth top scorers in the Championship this term, behind leaders Fulham who have already reached a staggering 50, plus Bournemouth (37), Blackburn Rovers (35) and QPR (33), Jones is happy with the improvement from last term where they finished sixth bottom with just 41 attempts finding the opposition net.

He said: “We work on our attacking play.

"I know we were top four in terms of scorers in the Championship, I think that’s still the case, I don’t think it would’ve diminished after the weekend, because we scored three (at Blackpool).

“It’s about us building, so, if we’re the fourth top scorers in the Championship and we’ve scored the most in the six-yard box, it means we’re creating enough chances as you don’t score inside the six-yard box by luck.

"If you score outside the box it means you’ve got wonderful technicians, if you score inside the six-yard box it means you’re creating chances.

"(If that’s the highest) in all four divisions, wonderful.

“It doesn’t matter where we score from but with things like that, we’re as good a pressing team as there are in the division.

"Our defensive XG (expected goals) and all our numbers are very good, so we know we’re in a good place, it’s just making sure that all these things come together to get results.”

With Hatters being top dogs inside the box, their shooting from range does require some practice, as against QPR recently, they struggled badly, sending a number of wayward efforts into the stands.

In fact, only Harry Cornick's strike in the 3-1 win over Middlesbrough came from outside the box, just, as although it isn't a major concern to Jones, he would like to increase their threat if possible.

The boss added: "We practice everything and certain players score from outside of the box naturally because it’s part of theirs.

"We have to work on ours, but I don’t care where we score from.

“If someone said to me, ‘you’re going to score 50 goals from now until the end of the season, where do you want to score them from?’ I wouldn’t care, because goals are goals.

“If someone said 'you’re going to have 40 shots,' I would like us to score from outside of the box as well because it does add a facet to us."