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16 January 2016

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Boss "realistically happy" with point in first game in charge

Town manager Nathan Jones was pleased with his side’s performance as he began his tenure with a 0-0 stalemate against Cambridge.

Paul Benson and Jake Howells both had chances, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Hatters going four consecutive games without a goal.

But Jones felt his side have did enough to progress and make those chances count in upcoming fixtures.

He told us: “I felt that we contained their attacking threat and as a team they worked superbly well. 

“I would have liked us to be more positive at times, but we had a real discipline and work rate and that’s what we’re going to build on.

“Today it wasn’t quite there, but it’s only been six days. The work rate from every single one of them was excellent. Cambridge have an aerial threat and we defended that really well.”

Jones’ first game-plan at Kenilworth Road was scuppered when Mark Tyler had to come off after just eight minutes, while Danny Green also had to be replaced before the 25-minute mark, replaced by Elliot Justham and Josh McQuoid respectively.

“It’s not good when they come off that early, it’s certainly not the baptism you want and it kind of restricted us in certain ways,” he said.

“I like to make more positive changes, but it wasn’t meant to be.

“Elliot was superb, and Josh, who was very close to starting anyway, did very well.”

While the new boss would obviously have liked a win to start his reign, Jones remained pleased with a second clean sheet in three matches.

“I would have loved the euphoria of going on and winning,” said Jones “I said we would go and build on the hard work with the way we play. I want us to be better in possession, which we will be, but it’s a positive point.

“It gives everyone that belief we can get clean sheets, and become a more fluent team.”

He added: “It’s a competitive group, and I went with a balanced team today, because I felt I needed that and the side we responded. 

“Cambridge didn’t allow us to be fluent, and they worked extremely hard. It’s hard to be disappointed, I want to win the game but they gave me everything. Another day we may have nicked it.”

Jones also praised the Kenilworth Road faithful, and promised more to come in terms of performance in upcoming weeks.

“The supporters were outstanding, and I knew they would be.

“Hopefully they saw that work rate. We did create chances, would have liked to have given them more today. But like I keep saying, it’s all about taking small steps.”

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