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19 September 2019

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Hatters boss Graeme Jones was pleased with his side’s showing in their behind closed doors friendly against Brentford on Tuesday.

Town named a strong side, with Callum McManaman’s close range chip proving to be the decisive goal as the Hatters won 1-0 at Griffin Park.

Jones explained: “It was a strong side, it was a full compliment really. I missed the first 15 minutes because we had a training session here [at the Brache] with the boys who played on Saturday. But I managed to get down there and I can’t remember ever really seeing a friendly game being played in such a competitive way. I think it was great preparation for the lads that played.

“Obviously now we have got five games in two weeks and I am sure we will need everybody over this period. So it was in preparation for this period as much as anything. But it was a great game and one we won, there was a real desire there, there was a pattern in our play, we tried one or two things, so it was a really good day’s work.

“A lot of them are still building up to their best and that’s why unless they play games they wont get back to their best and it’s your attitude towards those games. It’s a friendly at the end of the day, if you turn up in the sunshine at Brentford and just think ‘I will just get through this’, then you’re not going to get anything out of it. What was really impressive to me is how desperate we were to play and Brentford the same. I think everybody loves seeing competitive football and we ended up winning the game which was the icing on the cake.”

McManaman’s involvement in the game proved to be important minutes for the winger, as he recovers from injury, whilst Brendan Galloway hobbled off with a knee problem.

“Callum’s getting there, the individual work we have been doing has improved him physically, we have maybe got a little bit to go that first team football will bring. But he’s made progress and that’s pleasing," Jones continued. “Brendan felt his patella tendon and had to come off five minutes before half-time, so we’re assessing him, see how he is. I was pleased with him at QPR, he made a real impact on the game, so we will have to see where he is tomorrow.”

Town will be looking to get back to winning ways this Saturday as they welcome Hull City to Kenilworth Road, following on from the defeat to QPR last weekend.

Jones has gone through the game with his squad and he believes there are plenty of positives to take from the encounter at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.

The gaffer said: “Queens Park Rangers play with two strikers, so I wanted Ryan Tunnicliffe in touching distance doing two jobs if he possibly could. The modern centre-halves aren’t dealing with two strikers anymore, they’re not. So I wanted to make sure we were in a three-v-two situation and sometimes we were and sometimes we weren’t. Obviously we had wing-backs to deal with, so you can’t get your cover from full-backs, you have to get your cover elsewhere.

“Remember, it’s the first time that Ryan Tunnicliffe played in that position. Martin Cranie was injured, who amongst other things was signed specifically for that kind of role, because I know the league and I know what kind of games you need to use that kind of player in, so we had to adapt.

“The first 30 minutes was many, many different things, it wasn’t just that, which I have been through with the players and the last 60 minutes were many different things that, was the flip-side, it was positive. So sitting here, I can assure you that we have learned and we have also taken the positives of the last 60 minutes and we know how close the game was at the end. Crystal Palace were 3-0 down after 23 minutes on Saturday, they got beaten 4-0. We were the same and got beat 3-2, so there are positives to take as well.”

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