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NATHAN JONES ON THE DEFEAT TO OXFORD UNITED

1 March 2017

A late goal saw the Hatters crash out of the competition

Town boss Nathan Jones said he felt like his heart had been “ripped out” after his team fell to a 3-2 defeat in the Checkatrade Trophy semi-final against Oxford United.

After the U’s had taken a two-goal lead, the Hatters responded through Isaac Vassell and ex-Oxford striker Danny Hylton to bring the game level.

But with five minutes to go, Marvin Johnson curled in from the edge of the box to give the visitors the win and a place in the final at Wembley.

It was a remarkable comeback from the Hatters, and the manner of the defeat was a real tough one for Jones to swallow.

He said: “It’s difficult. Because I have got such disappointment at the minute, I feel like my hearts been ripped out if I am being honest.

“Ultimately I am so, so proud of them. They game me everything. It was just a little bit of naivety at the end that’s cost us.

“Big games are won in big moments and that was the moment we should have at least seen the game out 2-2 and gone to pens.

“It was a great start. There was a lot of opportunities in the game, if it was 5-5 it wouldn’t have been a lucky scoreline.”

The Town made a change at half-time bringing on Luke Gambin, who helped influence his side going forward, with the Hatters looking a lot more dangerous in possession.

“We weren’t aggressive enough in the first half, they were winning the first ball and it’s not like they’re a big side, so we put Glen back into the back four,” added Jones.

“There were opportunities for us to play and pass through them, so that’s why we went a little bit more technical with Pelly instead of Glen in the holding midfield role and I thought we were the better side second half.” 


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