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Nathan Jones delighted as Luton return to winning ways with ‘glorious’ victory

Barnsley v Luton Town – Sky Bet Championship – Oakwell
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Luton boss Nathan Jones spoke of the importance of his side’s “glorious” 1-0 victory at Sheffield Wednesday following back-to-back defeats.

Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu struck the winner midway through the second half, soon after the hosts had been reduced to 10 men when Joost Van Aken was shown a straight red card.

Jones was thrilled to get the three points following 2-0 losses to Stoke and Millwall, and felt they could have won the game even more convincingly.

He said: “We’re delighted and it’s a really important win for us after the defeats.

“Once we settled into the game, I thought we were brilliant. It’s a glorious win for us.

“I’m delighted with the overall performance and especially the win.

“We missed some glorious chances. We should have been more clinical and we needed to take those chances first half.

“We started better in the second half and got into the flow. I thought we were well worth the win.

“We never felt Wednesday had that time in the game where they were better. That’s not being arrogant after the fact, it’s how we felt about it.

“Once he (Mpanzu) settled down, he did really well.”

The win leaves Luton in ninth spot in the Championship on 12 points, two behind second-placed Bristol City.

Jones, whose side finished 19th last season, added: “What we want to be is nowhere near where we were last year.

“Last time out we deserved to get beat. What can we achieve? We’ll see. We’ll tick off the games and see where we are.”

Luton had a great chance to score inside the opening 20 seconds when Danny Hylton rounded keeper Cameron Dawson and fired in a shot which Aden Flint did well to block on the line.

Wednesday’s first effort came from Van Aken, who headed over after meeting Barry Bannan’s cross.

Tom Lockyer shot narrowly wide before Mpanzu missed a golden opportunity when he fired wide after being put through by a great ball from Elliot Lee.

Bannan fired in a shot from around 20 yards which was deflected wide.

The home side lost Van Aken in the 71st minute when the defender was shown a red card following a high challenge on Mpanzu.

Mpanzu then struck the winner three minutes later, firing a low shot past Dawson from inside the area.

Luton went close to scoring a second in stoppage time when substitute Ryan Tunnicliffe struck the post.

Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk said: “It was an even-ish game. There wasn’t anything in the game overall.

“We started to get a little bit more on top in the second half, but the red card was a big blow.

“We got into good positions in the final third, but we need to improve our decision making.

“The red card killed us in the second half. It was a soft red card. I haven’t watched it back, but I don’t think there was any malice in it.

“Losing two games in a row is disappointing and frustrating but we have to keep a level head. It’s a difficult situation for everyone.

“We have to stick together and keep fighting. We need to get points and win games. We need that belief and confidence to come back here.

“We have to pick ourselves up and get ready for the next game.”