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Club News


30 March 2017

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The Hatters have a number of first team players out injured

The recent ‘testing’ form for Town boss Nathan Jones and his team will be put under the microscope this weekend when they take on Blackpool.

After picking up only three points in their last five fixtures, the 43-year-old said his side are still in a positive mindset going into Saturday’s clash.

He said: “The mood’s been good. They’re a great group and it’s not doom and gloom because I can’t say ‘you’re a bad group, you don’t do this, you don’t do that’.

“We had a bad 45 against Colchester and they knew that themselves. I told them that, but they already knew it.

“Then second half they responded fantastically well, we had far more of the game than Colchester did. Even though we played very bad first half, all the stats are massively in our favour from the weekend. It’s just they were a little bit more clinical than us.”

Jones doesn’t feel his side have swayed too far away from his philosophy, just that his players need to be more potent in front of goal.

“It’s been a similar pattern – apart from the first half at Colchester there’s been much of a muchness,” Jones continued. “We didn’t turn up against Stevenage to be fair. In the other games we weren’t a million miles away from where we were if we took our chances.

“We created enough chances and even in the Newport game, we should have had a penalty right before half-time, we had a great chance late on. So we could have nicked three points there.

“In the Exeter game we had chances, in the Stevenage game we had eight chances. We haven’t been a million miles, it’s just fine margins. What we have to do is one, keep more clean sheets and then have a little bit more of a clinical edge to us. We’re in a good place and we can’t throw it away.”

The recent dip has seen Jones go the longest without a win in his first full-time managerial role, which he says is a tough position for both himself and his players.

The ex-Brighton & Hove Albion and Yeovil Town defender explained: “You’ve just got to keep believing in what you do. It’s a test for my players. It’s a test for me as a manager as this is my worst spell as a manager – we have never gone this many games without winning.

“We have never had three draws on the bounce. We aren’t in disastrous form, we are still in a good position. We have just got to make sure we have no more slip-ups.”

Danny Hylton missed out on the trip to Colchester on Saturday as he recovered from a hamstring problem picked up at Newport County, with a question mark over the forward’s availability going into this Saturday’s game.

(Pictured: Hylton scores from the spot before being taken off at half-time in the 1-1 draw with Newport County)

He is just one of a number of first team players on the injury list, but Jones hasn’t made a meal of the situation as he feels his squad has enough depth to deal with the circumstances.

“We have really had to wrap Danny up in cotton wool,” said Jones. “We haven’t gambled on him so it’s going to be touch and go. Hopefully he will be back and hopefully he can play some part.

“We look at our board and we have probably have got five starters out in terms of Cameron McGeehan, Johnny Mullins, Dan Potts, Danny Hylton and Jordan Cook.

“That would deplete any squad, but we have got a good squad and that gives others opportunities. If it cripples us then I’ll hold my hands up and say we are really struggling injury wise.

“We are going through the mill a little bit with injuries, but we still have a strong enough squad to cope with that.

“We missed Danny at the weekend, because any side in this league – or at any level – would miss him, so we will be hoping to get him back.”

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

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