MX23RW : Sunday, June 13 08:19:39| >> :600:434472:434472:
Dec 12, 2020 at 3pm UK at Kenilworth Road Stadium
LutonLuton Town
3-0
PrestonPreston North End
Collins (20', 29', 66')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Nathan Jones pays tribute to Luton players after 100th win

Nathan Jones pays tribute to Luton players after 100th win
© Reuters
James Collins hits hat-trick as the Hatters ease past Preston.

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."

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Tyrhys Dolan celebrates scoring for Blackburn against Preston in the Championship on November 24, 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CNorwich CityNorwich462910775363997
4Swansea CitySwansea4623111256391780
5Barnsley46239145850878
6Bournemouth4622111373462777
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8Cardiff CityCardiff4618141466491768
9Queens Park RangersQPR461911165755268
10Middlesbrough461810185553264
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13Preston North EndPreston46187214956-761
14Stoke CityStoke461515165052-260
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn4615121965541157
16Coventry CityCoventry461413194961-1255
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest461216183745-852
18Birmingham CityBirmingham461313203761-2452
19Bristol City46156254668-2251
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield461213215071-2149
21Derby CountyDerby461111243658-2244
RWycombe WanderersWycombe461110253969-3043
RRotherham UnitedRotherham46119264460-1642
RSheffield WednesdaySheff Weds461211234061-2141

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