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NATHAN JONES ON EXPERIENCE AND HIS CURRENT SQUAD

20 April 2017

Experience was key to success for top three according to Jones

Town gaffer Nathan Jones feels the squads that the three sides who have won promotion from Sky Bet League Two already had together before the start of this season have proved vital in their success at winning automatic promotion.

With League One football guaranteed for Doncaster Rovers, Plymouth Argyle and Portsmouth next season, the Hatters now need to secure a place in the play-offs if they want to be in with a shout of playing in the third tier come August.

The Town are in the driving seat though, as they currently sit fourth in Sky Bet League Two, four points clear of eighth place.

Jones thinks the experience the top three teams have at their disposal has massively helped over the course of the season, as he hopes this year’s challenge for his squad will help them to gel and move forward positively going into next season.

He said: “They have definitely got a lot more experience than we did in most areas. But I think we are just a young group who are evolving and developing. We play a certain way, we try to play a fluent way.

“We don’t play a static way. It would have been easy for us to have a static system and play in straight lines. We ask them to do different stuff. I think it’s just been that – that experience, a bit more knowhow.

“Whereas the ones that go forward with us, even the young ones will have a year’s more experience. The ones we are able to bring in, will obviously be my players.

“The players that I choose to go out and bring in. People have had two years together, Plymouth, Doncaster and Portsmouth have had real good continuity and have been able to bring in a lot of experience, they have been able to strengthen with a big budget.”

“That doesn’t guarantee them anything, but that’s where I think they have a little bit more nous. Statistics of how we play and when we go up against people it’s much of a muchness really.

“We have probably drawn too many games, we don’t lose many games. But it’s probably those draws and that hasn’t been down to a lack of ability, it’s just probably down to a bit of knowhow at times, where we needed to nick a game or see a game out.”

Since he took over in January 2016, Jones has overseen a squad overhaul, with the Welshman trying to focus on developing young and upcoming talent.

“When I took over we had 28 players and all 28 of those weren’t my players,” Jones explained. “Some proved we could move forward with them, we brought in a real good group we feel.

“In the summer we will evaluate it again, the certain areas we want to strengthen in, what we will be looking for. It’s about constantly moving forward, that will happen every single transfer window.

“There will always be one we can move out or one we can bring in. It’s not about bringing big numbers in, it’s just about streamlining and getting the most elite squad we possibly can.

“If you want to move forward, you have to do that constantly and that’ll be every transfer window, so we know we have had two proper transfer windows to bring people in really, in terms of the summer and then we tried to strengthen a little bit in January.

“We have only been able to recruit in one summer, and now we are going to be able to do that, whatever league we are in next season.”

Hatters Player subscribers can watch Jones’ full press conference by clicking here.