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NATHAN JONES ON THE 3-1 DEFEAT TO NORWICH CITY

25 July 2018

Town boss Nathan Jones praised his side's second half performance as they were defeated 3-1 by Championship outfit Norwich City in the Hatters first pre-season game at Kenilworth Road for the 2018/19 campaign.

After an even opening to the game, the visitors took the lead through Grant Hanley who poked in from close range, before Jordan Rhodes fired home from the penalty spot. The Canaries got their third on the stoke of half-time when Teemu Pukki calmly slotted home from close range before Luke Gambin got a goal back for the Hatters ten minutes after the restart.

The Hatters are next in pre-season action when they face Notts County this Saturday at the Kenny.

Jones said: "It was a real tough test, a good run out, but we knew [it was going to be] that. Norwich are a big Championship club, a big club. So we wanted that test and they were at their strongest tonight, and we probably weren't at our strongest, without being disrespectful to anyone.

"But it was a real good test, we started brightly, then the goals have really killed us, then they grew in confidence and we had to change things a little bit at half-time, which made us a little bit more solid. We say we won the second half, but as I said it was a better performance second half, a little bit more compact and we defended better, which was the pleasing thing."

The gaffer wasn't too pleased with the way his side conceded the goals, but believes that the experience will be a good learning curve for some of his younger players.

"We didn't defend the first ball [for the opening goal], it ricocheted in and we didn't defend the second and they poked it home," he continued.
"Goals change games, we know that, we've been clinical ourselves in recent years and I have seen that. That was the disappointing thing.

"Diving in on somebody when they've gone past you is a learning curve for young Jack. He came up against a good player in Ben Marshall – we tried to sign him when I was at Brighton! A very, very good player. But it's a learning curve.

"The third goal really disappointed me if I am honest. We were lazy in a lot of things that we did and that's the one that not so much flattered them, that's the one we've got to defend better and that's the disappointing thing. But second half we were a lot more positive."


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