Luton boss Graeme Jones declared himself “proud as punch” of his players despite seeing them squander a lead three times in a 3-3 draw with Fulham.
Bobby Decordova-Reid scored the last of Fulham’s three levellers in the fourth minute of stoppage time as the two sides settled for a point at Kenilworth Road, but after his side’s struggles of late, Jones saw much reason for optimism.
“We would have got beat six weeks ago – there’s enough negatives out there if you want to go searching for them,” Jones said on the club website.
“I was absolutely proud as punch for 97 minutes at our display in every single aspect and we’re unfortunate at the end, but we weren’t capable of getting a positive result against Fulham last time we played them.
“I think we played them nine weeks ago – the gulf is huge, the financial gulf that’s there. I think we bridged the gap with effort and quality at times, I would rather take the positives.”
Kazenga LuaLua put Luton ahead just five minutes in but Decordova-Reid needed only four minutes to level. James Collins then restored Luton’s lead just before the half hour and that advantage stood until Aleksandar Mitrovic headed home with 13 minutes to play.
Harry Cornick thought he had won it for the Hatters with six minutes left, only for Decordova-Reid to pop up at the death.
Despite seeing his side trail for much of the night, Fulham boss Scott Parker felt they were the better side.
“I was a little disappointed with the goals we’ve conceded,” Parker said.
“Scoring four goals to win a football match is always going to be difficult. They had three shots on target and scored three goals. We put their goal under a lot of pressure, but their keeper pulled off some fantastic saves.
“We were punished by two sucker punches. I want us to play but also smell and sense the game, and I felt we didn’t do that in the first half.
“Being in the heat of it we’re disappointed, but maybe when it all settles we’ll be fine.
“The most pleasing thing for me was the character shown by the team, coming to a tough place and going one down.
“My team showing massive character, massive fight and a real determination.”
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