Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Nathan Jones proud of Luton achievement after play-off place secured

Nathan Jones is proud of Luton’s achievement after play-off place was secured (Nigel French/PA)
Nathan Jones is proud of Luton’s achievement after play-off place was secured (Nigel French/PA)

Luton boss Nathan Jones was a relieved man after guiding the club to a play-off place in the Championship by beating Reading 1-0 at Kenilworth Road.

Going into the game, Town knew a victory would be enough to finish in the top six and they managed to do so following Harry Cornick’s quick-thinking on the stroke of half-time, robbing visiting goalkeeper Orjan Nyland of the ball and slotting into the empty net.

It was enough for the Hatters to end the season in sixth spot and they will now take on Huddersfield over two legs for a place at Wembley.

Jones said: “It’s relief at the minute. Every time we get promoted, or we do something, it’s relief.

“It was a little bit more euphoric when we stayed up against Blackburn (in 2020) but I’m just so proud, so proud of the group.

“I’m really pleased we didn’t rely on anyone else, lose the game and it be an anti-climax, we had to do it ourselves.

“To get to 75 points which we predicted, it’s a wonderful Championship season and success for us realistically is making sure we don’t go out of the league. Well we might have an opportunity to go out of the league, just at a different end.

“I thought we had a really good start, tinge of disappointment that we didn’t get an early goal as that would have settled everyone and then the second goal would have settled everyone even more.

“But it doesn’t make a difference, we know we can keep clean sheets, we know we can defend our box, they had one chance really and that front four is as good as any in the Championship.

“If (Yakou) Meite, (Lucas) Joao, (Ovie) Ejaria and (Junior) Hoilett are at it, you will struggle to contain those.

“I thought we defended really well, limited them to very little, and I’m really pleased.”

Town wasted a glorious chance in the opening minute as Jordan Clark sent Cameron Jerome clean through but the experienced striker could only shoot low down at Nyland.

Allan Campbell then fired over the bar, also heading straight at Nyland, while Reading threatened to spoil the party when Ejaria broke into the box and his deflected attempt was parried by the body of home keeper Matt Ingram.

James Bree sent a free-kick narrowly wide but just before the break, Cornick grabbed the only goal in inspired fashion, waiting for Nyland to put the ball on the floor and then taking it off him to slot home.

After the interval, Bree curled off target and Jerome was close to make it 2-0, slamming against the bar.

Reading had their own opportunities too, Michael Morrison’s header saved by Ingram while he was also denied by a superb block from Sonny Bradley.

Royals interim boss Paul Ince backed Nyland to bounce back from his mistake, adding: “I’m just glad it wasn’t a game we had to get something from.

“To be fair to him, he made a wonderful save in the second half, tipped one on to the bar, but it’s just the defining moments of the game.

“You don’t like to see any goalkeeper, I’ve seen enough back in the day, these things happen but you just don’t want them to happen to you or to your goalkeeper.

“It’s something he’ll get over, he’s a big, strong lad, he’ll be devastated, obviously, yes it’s a mistake, as you always look over your shoulder, but I was fine with him and he kept us in the game second half.

“I’m just glad we didn’t have to win the game or draw the game and that’s a credit to the players, credit to the club, to the fans, who have stuck with us and even second half, we played ever so well.

“We were the best team, had some chances, but I’m so, so pleased for Nathan.

“We did our pro licence together and they’ve shown togetherness, as they are working class people, and what you can achieve if you stick together.

“I’m pleased for him as he’s done an unbelievable job.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]