Cranie: Changes at the back had nothing to do with Royals defeat

Lloyd Jones came in for his full league debut against Reading
Lloyd Jones came in for his full league debut against Reading

Hatters defender Martin Cranie brushed off any suggestions that Luton's new-look back-line had anything to do with their 3-0 defeat at Reading on Saturday.

The summer signing was part of a changed back three with captain Sonny Bradley dropped from the squad by boss Graeme Jones, meaning Lloyd Jones came in for his full league debut after arriving in January 2018.

That was altered even further in the second period, Cranie moving to right back and club captain Alan Sheehan coming on, but the 33-year-old didn’t think the difference in personnel was an excuse for Town’s poor performance.

He said: “In training, we all mix positions and play with different people.

“So if someone comes in they’re fully aware of what they need to do and what role they have.

“We can’t put it down to people switching round, as we play with these boys day in day out.

“So it’s no different, no excuse, I don’t think that was the problem.

“Lloydy’s a good player, comfortable on the ball and good in the air.

“It’s always tough if you haven’t played all season.

“It’s his league debut, he hasn’t played in a while to come into a game in the Championship, because it’s physical, it’s quick, but I thought Lloydy’s acquitted himself very well.

“I thought he (Sheehan) did very well too.

“The third goal he got caught on the ball, but I think generally when he’s on the ball, he’s a good footballer.

“He can find a pass, so for him, I know he’ll be disappointed with the goal, but overall he can be happy with how he played.”

After going 2-0 down, Luton failed to show any of the kind of attacking threat that had made the Hatters one of the top scorers in the Championship until recently.

Cranie added: "We were looking to get a positive reaction second half and get the next goal, but it just didn’t come, and then they got their third.

“It was just the two goals that put us on the back foot and then we just never really got back into it.

“For them, 2-0 up, they can sit in and leave us with the ball, so we got a bit more of the ball second half, but I don't remember creating much at all and that’s something we need to work on.

“When you're at the bottom, it just seems like your luck's down and things like that (conceding poor goals) seem to happen more often.

"You can put it down mental, a bit of concentration, but it's something we need to stamp out very quickly.