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Nathan Jones “proud” of players after claiming 100th Luton win

Luton Town v Norwich City – Sky Bet Championship – Kenilworth Road
(Image credit: Andrew Matthews)

Luton boss Nathan Jones paid tribute to his players after he recorded a 100th win on his 200th game in charge when beating Preston 3-0 at Kenilworth Road.

Striker James Collins scored a hat-trick, his second of the season, moving Luton up to 11th in the table after beating a visiting side who had the joint-best away record going into the game.

Jones, in his second stint after returning in May, said: “I’m really proud of the players, I’ve thanked them for just the level of performance they gave me as from start to finish we were aggressive.

“We went out and pressed, these are a good side, the best away record in the Championship, I watched them in midweek, they won 3-0 [against Middlesbrough] and it didn’t flatter them.

“So it was a real top performance and I’m just really happy with the level of how we went about it, how we went out and how we worked, and then to score three and in all honesty we could have had another two more as well.

“But I’m delighted, any win is massive in the Championship, but the manner and the level of the win, I’m so proud of.

“I think it’s probably slightly more complete [than the 3-1 win over Norwich last time out], we just showed a level of work-rate and pressing and aggression that is rare.

“I haven’t seen that in many teams in terms of what they do, so I’m really, really happy with that.

“Then we were absolutely clinical and I felt the performance was outstanding.”

Preston had started well themselves, Jayden Stockley and Alan Browne going close in the opening stages, but Collins bagged his first of the afternoon following a wonderful pass from Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu in the 20th minute.

He made it 2-0 nine minutes later, burying a header from Glen Rea’s cross as Preston couldn’t clear their lines from a corner.

Harry Cornick diverted a volley wide and Town could have been out of sight earlier, Mpanzu shooting over with keeper Declan Rudd out of position following another excellent spell of pressing by the home team.

With 66 minutes gone, Collins had his treble, Cornick winning possession back to find the striker who arrowed a drive into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

Rea, Jordan Clark and Tom Lockyer went close late on, the latter’s header from Rhys Norrington-Davies’ free-kick dropping inches wide of the target.

Frustrated Preston skipper Browne said: “We were losing the scraps, I think we got what we deserved.

“I think every aspect they beat us, every position on the pitch, they outplayed us, outfought us, literally everything.

“We were second best, it’s inexcusable, it’s not good enough, we just need to forget about this.

“I don’t think we’ve ever played that bad, it was shocking all the way through.

“It just passes you by, to a man you can’t do anything, because every one of us just weren’t good enough.

“To be fair, I think we’ve been consistent all season, I don’t think there’s been much in the games we’ve lost, but to get beat like that it’s just embarrassing.”