Jones hadn't seen Luton's first half debacle coming

Hatters boss Nathan Jones was left scratching his head as to just how his side had played quite so badly during their 2-1 defeat to Colchester United this afternoon.

Saturday, 25th March 2017, 10:24 pm
Updated Monday, 27th March 2017, 1:19 pm
Town skipper Scott Cuthbert gets ready for a header against Colchester

Luton found themselves 2-0 down with just 30 minutes gone at the Weston Homes Community Stadium through Chris Porter's double strike, as the visitors were massively off the pace in the opening period, with Colchester completely dominant and might have led by more at the break.

Although the visitors improved in the second period, Isaac Vassell’s stoppage time strike was of scant consolation, as Jones admitted he had been shocked with what he had witnessed.

The Town chief said: “First half we were nowhere near. It came out of the blue really, I didn’t anticipate a performance like that.

“We had no urgency, no real work-rate, no desire, no aggression about us and then fundamentally we couldn’t defend crosses.

“They put three crosses in, should have scored from all three, scored from two of them, but we were way off it first half.

“Then we asked them for a little bit more urgency and we were a different side second half, a totally different side.

“We could have salvaged something from the game, but when you’re 2-0 down it’s difficult to come back and get anything from the game.

“If we had got the goal earlier then maybe that could have been the equaliser, but from the first half performance, we didn’t deserve anything.

“The second half gave me a bit of heart, but we were way, way off today.

“We hadn’t had a performance like that first half for a long time.

“At Newport the other day we didn’t really get going, but it was a difficult place to go surface-wise.

“Today, that was as poor as we’ve been, that was last year’s performance. I haven’t seen that all season this year, I really haven’t and I’m disappointed with that.

“They reacted well which gives us something to take into this week, but I’ve learnt a bit about a few players and and learnt things about what I must do.

“I’m learning as well, it wasn’t good enough first half, second half was much more like us, but at the end it was too little too late.”

The manner of the way Town conceded both goals was doubly frustrating for Jones as it was something he and his coaching staff had earmarked in the build-up before the game.

He continued: “Again, we can go with this week in week out.

“We identify it. He’s (Porter) the one. They don’t have anyone else who scores from crosses, he scores from crosses and we identify that.

“We also identify Brennan Dickenson as the one that puts balls in. So short of playing myself and pressing wide areas and then winning the headers as well, you can’t really do too much more. It’s up to them when they cross the line.

“We didn’t get on any second balls, didn’t compete, we looked lightweight all throughout, but that wasn’t why we conceded.

“As one we let a cross come in, two, we didn’t defend it well enough and it’s a looping header, not like it was point blank or anything.”