Town boss and players apologise to Luton fans for Bees thrashing
Luton chief Graeme Jones admitted both he and the Hatters players wanted to apologise to supporters for their shocking performance during 7-0 annihilation at Brentford this afternoon.
The Luton chief saw his side concede five goals in the first half, four of them coming in a 16 minute spell before the break.
They shipped another two in the second period, to fall to their biggest league defeat since 1966, when hammered 8-1 by Lincoln City.
Izzy Brown (hamstring) and Brendan Galloway (patella) both went off with serious injuries in the second period, ensuring the visitors finished the game with just 10 men.
Jones, who came in for plenty of vocal criticism from the large section of travelling supporters who had remained at Griffin Park, said: “I think that everything that could go wrong, did go wrong, including the start and giving them an opening goal.
“Then I feel like defensively we were so fragile from that point on, we didn’t get close to people, didn’t defend with any kind of intensity, any meaning.
“Don’t forget, this is the same team and the same set of tactics, that lost narrowly against Leeds and beat Charlton in midweek, so to say I’m disappointed is an understatement.
“I’ve told them (the players) that. The only people that I feel sorry for our supporters, who again travelled in their numbers.
“I need to apologise to them, certainly for that performance.
“I don’t want to be manager of Luton Town and represent that, I have too much pride in myself.
“The boys have told me to tell you (the press), that they’ll take responsibility for the performance today, which I thought was big of them.
“I didn’t clap them at the end as I felt so embarrassed with the performance.
“It doesn’t help that you lose Izzy now with a hamstring, that compounds things and Brendan Galloway has snapped his patella tendon, so to say it’s been a bad day at the office is an understatement.
“I can’t say anymore than that, I’m as disgusted with the performance as they are. I let the players know that, we have to do something about it, and I can’t say any more.”
Town fell behind after just six minutes when a mix up between Dan Potts and James Shea saw Bryan Mbeumo nipped into find the net.
They then allowed the Bees far too much time and space in the closing stages of the first half to almost score at will, offer virtually no resistance to the hosts attackers.
Jones continued: “If you want me to play left back, I’ll play left back and make sure that I don’t take a chance on playing the ball back to my goalkeeper in the first 10 or 15 minutes of the game.
“We’ve settled into the game fine, the shape was working, but within that shape individuals have to do their job and four goals came from the left hand side today.
“That’s a big, big disappointment, especially with the level of performance that’s been going on in that area, but it’s how it is.”
During the break, Jones swapped just two players, but surprisingly none of the back four, with Andrew Shinnie and Harry Cornick making way for Luke Bolton and Galloway.
On why there weren’t any defensive changes, Jones said: “I was tempted, but I just wanted to put another two defenders in front.
“I felt like we were getting hurt in wide areas, we weren’t stopping that pass and then you lose Brendan which was typical of the day we had.
“These days happen, it’s something I don’t want to be apart of again, but now it’s how we respond to it.”
Jones couldn’t put his finger on quite why his team were so bad after their impressive showings against Leeds and Charlton either, adding: “All I spoke about before the game, was repeating levels of performance.
“I spoke about attitude, being decisive, being aggressive within our framework, what we’ve had for the last two games.
“I feel like we’ve taken two steps forward, now we’ve taken 10 steps back.
“I made an emphasis on the start of the game, as we scored one goal in the last nine games in the first half.
“I said it was really important we started aggressive, I got the opposite effect is the truth.
"We settled into the game quite well, but one action where you’ve got to deal with the ball and then the second one when you’ve got to go and get close to people’s boots and don’t be easy to beat, it happened too often.
“If you want me to play left back, I’ll try, I’ll give you an aggressive reaction that’s for sure, but I’m afraid I can’t do it.”