Hatters boss won’t accept ‘lacklustre’ performances

Danny Hylton gets Luton back in the game against Solihull
Danny Hylton gets Luton back in the game against Solihull

Hatters Luton chief Nathan Jones has warned his players he won’t accept the kind of display that almost saw his side knocked out of the FA Cup against Solihull Moors yesterday.

A shocking first half performance meant the Hatters trailed their National League opponents 2-0 at the break, as Jones admitted afterwards, he had been tempted to make wholesale changes during half time.

It was just the general lacklustre performance that I don’t want to be associated with as I’m not going to have that.

Nathan Jones

However, a moment of clarity saw the Town boss opt to bring on Stephen O’Donnell for James Justin, as the defender bagged two in a second half revival that saw his side hammer six to reach Monday night’s potentially lucrative third round draw.

Jones said: “I don’t want to take anything away from them (Solihull), but for us they’re bad (the goals), as the naievety in letting someone drift into your box and not picking them up and then being able to pass and turn and bend one.

“We don’t get that space. Sides don’t allow us that space, we have to earn everything, and we gave them that.

“It was just the general lacklustre performance that I don’t want to be associated with as I’m not going to have that.

“I want centre halves who are dominant, who go and win stuff and put you on the front foot.

“Then I want midfielders who are going to press and work hard and that should be started off by our front two and our front two were so poor first half, that I could have made two changes.

“And we were going to, but I had to control myself and not make three subs, because who knows what could have happened?

“So we thought structurally how can we do and second half they were what I know and we were on the front foot.

“We won our headers, we worked it so well into wide areas, we created and then on the counter attack we are devastating anyway.

“I know that and today we showed that, so I was very, very pleased with the second half, that we were in the hat for the third round and that’s the main thing.”

Once Luton had reduced the deficit through Danny Hylton, they were in rampant mode with O’Donnell (2), Jack Marriott (2) and Johnny Mullins on target, as the host broke with devastating speed and accuracy time and time again.

Jones continued: “We are a good counter-attacking side, we work on it, but we have showed that we can really affect a team counter-attacking wise.

“We’ve shown that in games we’ve played, (Aston) Villa here, Plymouth away, that we can be devastating when we want to be.

“That’s the pleasing aspect of it and after the disappointing first half, that was very, very pleasing.

“I don’t think six flattered us in any way, it’s harsh on them because for 45 minutes they would have been in cloud cuckoo land.

“But second half we came out and it could have been more. The disappointing thing for me is if we had started like that, right from the off, then it would have been an even more comfortable scoreline.

“Because I believe that if we are at it, it would take a good side to beat us.”