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NATHAN JONES ON KEEPING THE PLAYERS GROUNDED AHEAD OF CARLISLE

Gaffer reflects on Saturday's 7-0 win and looks ahead to tomorrow night

20 November 2017

Hatters boss Nathan Jones told a packed press conference at The Brache this lunchtime that his players will have their feet on the ground for tomorrow night’s Sky Bet League Two game with Carlisle at Kenilworth Road, despite hitting seven goals or more for the third time this season.

The Town were rampant against Cambridge on Saturday, with Olly Lee netting from 70 yards, his brother Elliot hitting a brace and Danny Hylton grabbing a perfect hat-trick – all after Dan Potts had given them the lead with his fourth of the season.

Jones insists his side won’t be over-confident, however, when the 11th-placed Cumbrians visit Bedfordshire for tomorrow’s 7.45pm kick-off.

“I think confidence is at a good level, but the good thing about this group – and it really is a group, and that comes from the staff and myself – is that we keep our feet firmly on the ground,” said Jones.

“We are always looking at the next one because we have to maintain our standards. Luckily enough, when we won 7-1 against Stevenage, we backed that up with a 4-1 away win at Exeter, and then drew with Crawley, and you think ‘Hang on, well after the euphoria of the 11 goals in two games, how can you draw 0-0?’

“But that’s the way it was, and what we have to do is make sure our performance levels are consistent. If they are, with the work that we do week in, week out, we believe we have a good group and we believe we have opportunities to win games.”

Olly Lee’s strike from well inside his own half stole all the headlines, but his brother his two crackers and Hylton’s hat-trick was a perfect right foot, left foot and head combination.

Jones said: “It’s magnificent technique. First of all, his vision to see the goalkeeper off his line, and then to execute it in such a way which shows fantastic technique. We know he’s got that technique because we see him every day.

“It’s one of those goals that doesn’t happen very often, and I’m sure the crowd held their breath as it was sailing over the goalkeeper, but it just shows wonderful quality, wonderful decision making and it’s a goal he’ll remember – and I think we will – for a long time.

“It’s taken the limelight, but it’s not individual performances when you win by that margin, it’s a team performance.

“I showed them today and some people say ‘Yeah, but after four and after five’. But the relentlessness about the press and desire, and then we brought the game changers on, and they added that as well. It was pretty complete.

“It was pretty good for a manager to see that. I don’t want to over-egg it and say too much, and enthuse too much over it, because we have another game tomorrow which could be totally different.

“But the level of performance and how they went about their work, I’m very proud, because I try to coach that; I try to bring that across every day to our club and our culture, and they just demonstrated it, so that’s a proud moment for me.”

Asked whether the banter was flying around the training ground, he replied: “With the planes and the wind, you can’t hear the banter! But look, it’s back.

“We were in yesterday to warm-down and give a top up to those who needed a top up. Today we’ve knuckled down and worked tactically. We debriefed. We’ve worked tactically towards Carlisle tomorrow, and we are ready.”

Dan Potts, who went down injured in the second half and carried on for a while before being substituted, is available, but James Collins will not be fit after missing Saturday’s game with a hamstring injury suffered at Cheltenham last week – and neither will captain Scott Cuthbert.

The centre-half was carried off on a stretcher shortly after half-time on Saturday and had a scan on his groins yesterday.

Jones said: “We’re still waiting really for everything to be sorted. We’ve got it scanned, he just over stretched his groins really, so we’ve had to wait and see on that.

“It was an unfortunate injury. It’s not something where he blocked tackle, or someone’s caught him late, or he’s sprinted. He’s slipped and did the splits if you like. It was more Strictly Come Dancing, but without the flexibility.”

*Tickets are still available to be pre-purchased for tomorrow night’s match, and you can buy them at the Ticket Office in person, by calling 01582  416976 on online.

Cash turnstiles will also be in operation in all home areas of the ground.


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