Luton boss Nathan Jones delighted with fabulous February form

Swansea City v Luton Town – Sky Bet Championship – Swansea.com Stadium
(Image credit: Bradley Collyer)

Luton boss Nathan Jones hailed a great month for his side as they made it 15 points from a possible 18 in February by beating struggling Derby 1-0 at Kenilworth Road.

Striker Danny Hylton’s 67th-minute goal, his second in as many games and first at home since March 2019, was enough for the hosts to climb into the Sky Bet Championship play-off places for the first time this season.

Jones said: “It’s been a great month to be fair as apart from a debacle at Birmingham we’ve taken 15 points from 18.

“Unless you’re Fulham, or Man City or Liverpool, you don’t get many better months like that, so a wonderful, wonderful month and that’s a credit to the players, a credit to everyone, the staff, everyone behind the scenes.

“It doesn’t feel any different to being in eighth to be honest, it doesn’t feel groundbreaking as there’s a long way to go.

“If it was game 46 and we’d just finished sixth it would feel special, but it’s wonderful to be in the position we are.

“First of all we had to secure our status in the league and we’ve done that a number of weeks ago, so we want to push boundaries, we want to evolve, we want to get better, so let’s see where it takes us.”

A quiet first half saw the Rams have the better chances, Colin Kazim-Richards wasting their best opportunity, while Ravel Morrison went close from a free-kick as Luton barely threatened.

After the break, Town keeper Jed Steer made a magnificent save from Max Bird, tipping his shot onto the bar, as the midfielder also dragged another wide, before the hosts went ahead thanks to Hylton’s measured finish into the bottom corner from Cameron Jerome’s knockdown.

James Bree was denied a second by visiting keeper Ryan Allsop, who also clawed out Jerome’s far-post header, as the Rams, who sent Allsop up for a later corner, dropped to second bottom of the table and remain eight points from safety.

Derby boss Wayne Rooney said: “I’m frustrated, we changed our shape, we gave Luton the respect they deserved, they’re not a team blessed with great individuals, but they’re a good, honest, hard-working team.

“I felt the changes we made really kept them at arm’s length, they didn’t have the impact they normally have, but we conceded a bad goal from our point of view and didn’t take our chances.

“We have to keep working and keep fighting. I can walk out of this stadium as a proud manager and so can the players as what they are doing is tough.

“We have had challenges all season and just need to keep fighting, I believe we can do it, but we have to start turning results like this into wins.”

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