Hatters boss scathing of 'unfair' fixture list as Luton fall to Blues defeat

Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu shields the ball during this afternoon's 2-1 defeat
Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu shields the ball during this afternoon's 2-1 defeat

Luton boss Graeme Jones blasted the Football League after making his side play at Birmingham City this afternoon, just two days on from their trip to Fulham on Wednesday night.

The hosts, with an extra 24 hours recovery under their belt due to a game on Tuesday evening, triumphed late on, winning 2-1, leaving Jones bitterly disappointed when speaking to the press afterwards.

He said: "We’ve been competing in every single game, we are not, we are not going to get treated that way.

"It’s not right, it’s not right by whoever organises the fixtures, it’s not right by certain aspects of how the officiating has gone the last few games, it's unfair.

“We need a level playing field, that’s all we’re asking for here.

"We need to make our voices heard as we’re not going to put up with it, all we're asking for is a level playing field with every other team in this league and today we haven’t had that.

"People don’t realise unless you’re involved at this level, unless you’re professional, how much 24 hours matter.

"We’ve got to help ourselves as well, but that’s our disappointment.

“Let's say we get beat today 3-0 and you’re not on the same pitch and the recovery has been the same and it’s been an even playing field, then you wont get any complaints from me, 'okay, they’re a better side.'

“I don't think it's happened to us once this season, but it’s already difficult enough without making the two away trips and the physical side is even harder.

“The most important part of the game is recovery and being able to be mentally and physically fresh for every game, but we’re at a disadvantage and it isn’t right.

"I know Charlton got a last-minute equaliser and well-done to them, but when you see things happen late in the game, there’s physical aspect to it.

“Luton and Charlton don’t need anymore disadvantages, we’ve already got the two worst budgets in the league.

"If anything, the authorities, the EFL, or whoever it is, need to help Luton and Charlton. How can that happen? How can we be the only two teams? How?

“Is that really that difficult, to look at a fixture list and think, ‘c’mon, give people a chance’.

“We’re the only two teams that played away from home Wednesday and Saturday.

“We played Derby before the last international break. They played Wednesday, we played Wednesday and there were no problems at all. None.

“Luton and Charlton, the disadvantages are already big enough. If you get beaten 2-1 and we finished on Tuesday night, fair enough, but it’s not right.

“You can’t measure our performance the same way, it’s not fair. That’s my disappointment today.”

Asked if he would make a complaint the EFL, Jones said: “I don’t know.

"My focus from Wednesday night just immediately went on the Birmingham game because there’s nothing I’m going to do at that point is going to change anything. I will look into that.

“The 82nd minute as well, that hurts. It leaves you with it because it’s late in the game and that’s when fatigue kicks in.”

On whether the solution would have been to play the game on Sunday, Jones said: “That would be perfect.

"No problem, we’re playing Sunday. Just give us a chance. Just give us an even playing field. I’ve got no problems with that.

“That extra day doesn’t count as much then. It’s a minimum 48 hours recovery. I don’t know what Birmingham have had - 72, 84? We’ve had 60.

“I know, because I’ve been a player, it makes a massive difference. Massive.”