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THE GAFFER ON HIS STRIKERS AND JONATHAN SMITH

9 February 2017

The Town boss has been impressed by his striking options

Hatters boss Nathan Jones spoke about how pleased he was with the striking options he has at his disposal and the fantastic form of Jonathan Smith in his Press conference at Ely Way today.

Tuesday night’s terrific victory over Yeovil Town in the Checkatrade Trophy saw Isaac Vassell score his fourth and fifth goal in four appearances, whilst Danny Hylton brought an end to a two-month goal drought when he fired in from close range for his 15th strike of the season.

The form of Vassell has seen Jack Marriott feature slightly less in recent matches, but that doesn’t mean he is far away from the starting XI, according to Jones.

He said: “We look at games and we think what combination will win games for us or what will cause problems and Jack is right in that.

“He trained today, he has trained fantastically well today, what a great option to have. Ollie Palmer is different as well. If your strikers are all in form and are scoring it’s a wonderful dilemma to have.

“Well not even a dilemma, it’s a wonderful thing to have in your squad.”

The Welshman also hopes that all his forwards are high on confidence, as they all play a big part in his squad.

“I want them all to be [high on confidence],” Jones continued. “Because they’re all vital to us and they’re all big, big parts of what we have got here. We are very fortunate and very blessed to have four strikers and four choices to have, because not many teams can do that.

“Many teams play with one up top and maybe have one or two, but we have four that are a real threat in their different ways.

“Isaac’s in good form at the minute, he is developing. We talked about him being a diamond and polishing his rough edges, and he is coming along nicely. We are glad we have got him.

"To be honest, I think I could play with Danny Hylton! He is that good a player. He has done fantastically well. He is only 27, we’ve got good ages – 27, 25, 22, 21 – they are good ages for strikers and they want to get better. They have got a hunger for goals, they have a hunger for work rate as well, which is phenomenal.

“We haven’t got any superstars that hang around and just do this and just do that. Ours are hungry, they press, they work hard. It’ll come to feet and they will hold it up, they will try to get on the end of stuff. It’s a good little group to have.”

Another player who has been featuring regularly recently in the Town side is Smith, who has now made 26 appearances this season.

Jones said: “He has done very well, but we knew that. All we have said is we have got a squad that’ll take you through a full season. Not half a season, not the first ten games. We know people are going to have dips in form and we know what Jonathan gives us.

“We need him in the squad. We had a lot of enquires about Jonathan: ‘Can we take him?’ There was absolutely no chance of us ever letting him go from our squad, because we know how important he is.

“There’s no shock to me, I am pleased that he is getting the game time now and he is doing well. But, it’s what I expect from him.

“There’s still a lot of improvement. He is still at an age where he can improve, because we want him to be even better than he is. He is consistent and we know we are going to get work rate.

“Now we want to add to his fluency and we want to add goals to his game as well because he gets into situations. He had a great strike the other day [against Yeovil] that hit the bar and the week before he had an opportunity. So it’s good to have those opportunities.

“He is a valued member of the squad and one again, we are delighted we have got.”

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

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