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20 February 2016

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Jones earned his first win at Kenilworth Road as Hatters manager

Hatters manager Nathan Jones has called for his side to increase their level of consistency following their 2-1 victory over Hartlepool.

Craig Mackail-Smith netted late following Cameron McGeehan's second-half penalty to give Jones his first victory at Kenilworth Road.

Now the manager is hoping the side can keep improving in results and performances following last week’s drubbing at AFC Wimbledon.

“That was a very important win, especially with home victories being sparse of late,” Jones said.

“The fans haven’t had much to cheer, of which we were well aware, but now that’s a psychological barrier which we have got over and we have to push on from that.”

“I felt we deserved it today, we controlled large parts of the game. Hartlepool came here and made it difficult with us with that game-plan. If we’d had more of a clinical edge then we could have made it easier for ourselves.”

It was a first home win since November for the Hatters, just the fourth of the season, with Jones believing the results can, and will, come if his side deliver high standards of football.

He continued: “We want to know what we get, week in week out. If, at times, we get beaten by a better side, you can accept that. 

“But what I don’t want is a fluctuation in results, because you can’t achieve anything with that, but if we put in the performance week in week out then we know what we can add to improve."

While the Town completed the double over Hartlepool, Jones feels it was far from a faultless display from his side, only ahead for nine minutes in the whole match.

“We controlled the game, and they came here and had a game-plan. We then got the goal, and they had to come out a bit more and open up to get back in the game.

“At that point, we needed to sit tight and not do anything stupid, but we conceded from a corner and that really disappoints me. They know that. 

“If we defend a corner and take our chances it’s a lot more comfortable. We’ve got to learn to manage games and be clinical in both boxes. They’re learning and getting better at that, with last week an exception.”

Jones used Mackail-Smith, who he knew from Brighton days, as an impact substitute after he started against AFC Wimbledon, and praised his striker’s instincts in front of goal.

“It was a great ball from Olly Lee, Macca stretched the play with a great touch and that was a Championship quality finish,” continued Jones.

“He works hard and he grafts and doesn’t always get his rewards, but he’s a great lad and I’m super pleased he’s got a goal, and a winning goal at that.”

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