Town chief is striving to ensure Luton start scoring more goals after yet another blank

Hatters manager knows his side must begin taking their chances

Monday, 15th March 2021, 5:21 pm
Updated Monday, 15th March 2021, 5:42 pm
Dan Potts saw this goal ruled out for offside against Swansea

Luton boss Nathan Jones insists his players are working tirelessly on the training ground to try and improve their meagre goalscoring record this season.

The Hatters drew yet another blank at the weekend when going down 1-0 defeat to promotion challengers Swansea City, the 16th time from 35 Championship fixtures that they have failed to find the net this term

A tally of just 28 goals from 35 games, the fifth worst in the division, shows fairly clearly where Town's trouble have been, with James Collins the leading marksman in the second tier on seven, as eight others players have two each.

It's something that Jones and his coaching staff are doing their utmost to make better though, saying: "That’s what we have to strive to do, as we have been short on goals and we are trying to find ways of doing that and if we do that then we’ll move forward.

“It’s decision-making, there’s so much in-house that we work on and do that you can see coming out and it’s just that final bit.

"But we have to show quality as when we get into areas, it’s not their endeavour, their work-rate, their desire to do well, their listening, they’re a great group that really, really wants to do well, it’s just that bit of know-how, that bit of decision-making which is what the top, top players have.

“That’s the difference sometimes that separates the very best from those that are good footballers.”

Despite being unable to find the net, the Hatters have had a high chance creation count, as even last week against leaders Norwich City, they hit the post inside the opening 10 minutes through Collins.

Against Swansea it continued, Jordan Clark and Harry Cornick both putting headers wide, with striker Elijah Adebayo unable to beat keeper Freddie Woodman twice and a number of other decent opportunities going to waste.

When they did beat Woodman, thanks to Dan Potts' first half header, it was ruled out for an offside flag, as Jones continued: “We've had chance, we’ve controlled the game, we’ve been dominant.

"If you look at statistically, we’ve been very, very good and it showed that, we just need to demonstrate that little bit of quality.

"Jordan stepped inside, if it’s on target he scores as the keeper can’t see it, but it’s wide.

"Then we have a header that we don’t score, Harry Cornick completely misses his header, Jordan completely misses his header, Elijah’s had two headers, opportunities that we should have done better with.

"Now if we have 10 opportunities in a Championship game, it means one we have played well, but two, we need to be more clinical and that’s what we weren’t today.

"As what it will go down as, Swansea are good defensively, but Swansea didn’t defend well today, or we didn't let Swansea defend well.

"We created enough to have won a Championship game today comfortably."

The visitors' on-loan Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane showed Town how it should be done, tucking home from close range following Yan Dhanda’s run into the area and inviting cut-back.

With another former Premier League striker Andre Ayew in the ranks, then the Swans had some real firepower on the pitch, but they well marshalled by the Town defence which made the defeat even harder to take, especially with two penalty appeals waved away by referee Darren Bond.

Jones added: "Hourihane is a good player, but we’ve got players who can do that.

"We’ve had better chances than them, we’ve had headers from five and six yards that we need to score as Ayew scores that or (Teemu) Pukki scores that and that’s what we need to do.

"We are developing them, we have to realise that, it’s just frustrating, because we’ve more than matched and probably controlled a game against a side that are second in the Championship and that’s the levels we’re at.

"We went away and we were better than them, but we conceded after two minutes from a deflected goal, but that’s the things that happen in the Championship.

"You have to take your chances and we missed chances away as well, so we have to be clinical in what we do, we have to be better in what we do.

"Once we do then we’ll be in a proper position as we should be 10th, 11th, ninth in this Championship from the level of performances we’ve had, it’s just we haven’t quite turned performances in to results.

“It’s so difficult as the performance level was right up there, but it’s so raw now as we’ve just lost the game 1-0 and we lost the game 1-0 from two things as I said.

"People didn’t make the right decisions and we had enough opportunities to have got something out of the game.

"Taking the officials out of it, taking the penalty appeals out of it, we’ve had enough opportunities to have got something from the game, but then when you add that to it, it’s doubly disappointing as we should have."