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It’s ‘sad’ our fans won’t see us take on United, says Luton boss Nathan Jones

Hull City v Luton Town – Sky Bet Championship – KCOM Stadium
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Luton manager Nathan Jones admits it is “really sad” the club’s fans will not be able to watch them take on Manchester United at Kenilworth Road in the Carabao Cup third round next week.

Jones’ side eased past Championship rivals Reading 1-0 in the second round thanks to a neatly headed goal from Jordan Clark in the 24th minute.

Reading, who changed their entire starting XI from the 2-0 league win at Derby last Saturday, offered little threat going forward in either half.

“When Man United come to town, it’s always a big occasion,” Jones said. “It’s really sad – I wouldn’t quite say tragic – that our fans won’t be there to see such a big game against such a big club.

“It would have been fantastic for them to see the calibre of players that Man United have at Kenilworth Road.

“It really would have been an occasion. And it still will be.

“Perhaps not as electric as it would have been, but it’s the times we live in.

“I’d like to have put the game [against Reading] to bed earlier. We had a number of opportunities when the ball was going across their box and also when shots were blocked.

“But I felt that we thoroughly deserved the win. We controlled most of the game and never really had a problem.

“Reading had a lot of possession in the second half but without really hurting us in any way.

“We were strong and it was a good work-out for us.

“And, of course, there was always the carrot of playing Man United. It’s always a big game when those red shirts come to town.”

Veljko Paunovic, the new Reading manager, suffered defeat in his first match in charge at Madejski Stadium.

“It’s always disappointing when you lose,” Paunovic said. “But, if you have to lose, I prefer that we do it this way.

“We dominated in the second half and, at one point in the first half, we took over the game and the possession.

“We maybe didn’t have the process in their box, we didn’t have enough finishing. And you have to finish the action if you want to score.

“You have to shoot with purpose, not just do it without any sense. That’s something that we lacked in this game and that is something that we have to improve.

“We’re trying, in terms of the technical and tactical stuff, to play the way that we want. The style is there.

“But we have to polish it and sharpen our capabilities.

“The spirit is important as well and this team never gave up.”