Hatters chief: I picked the wrong team for Bristol City defeat

Hatters boss Nathan JonesHatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Town manager felt he got selection wrong at Ashton Gate

Hatters boss Nathan Jones admitted he was guilty of picking the wrong team for last night’s desperately poor 2-0 defeat at Bristol City.

Following a 1-0 reverse to Preston on Saturday, Jones opted to bring in Gabe Osho and Cauley Woodrow to the starting line-up, dropping Jordan Clark and Luke Freeman to the bench, going with a new-look midfield that included Scottish international Allan Campbell.

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It didn’t work though, Town picked apart by the hosts with ease, Han-Noah Massengo and Alex Scott dominating proceedings, as the hosts didn’t need to do a great deal to move two goals in front at the break.

It led Jones to say afterwards: “If I’m honest, I probably picked the wrong team, that’s my fault, I’ll take responsibility.

“Whether it’s trying to be clever, or whatever it is, I picked the wrong team really.

“There’s big things, Clicker got injured and he had to have an x-ray on Sunday so we left him out.

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"Luke Freeman, three games in a week, to do that and be high energy, so we just needed to be better.

“I felt that that was right tactically, I got that wrong, but that doesn't excuse the fact then that we've conceded real bad goals.

“That’s not why we conceded goals, because the back three wouldn't have changed, the back five wouldn’t have changed, so I'm disappointed.

“I’m really disappointed with the level of performance we put in during the first half as that cost us the defeat today.”

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When asked about the inclusion of Woodrow just behind the front two, the former Barnsley man having made his name as a striker during his time at Oakwell, managing double figures in successive Championship campaigns, the boss continued: “If we didn’t get a platform in the game, then you can play a 10, two eights, two 10s, whatever you can play but we didn't pass the ball well enough.

“We didn't win the battle, we didn't give ourselves a platform and 1-0 down after five minutes from basically nothing, it lifts them.

“The crowd get behind them, it settles them, so that’s what I'm disappointed with as we normally make sure we’re very solid, we don’t concede and then we always know we can get a goal.

"But today, first half it was unacceptable defending and unacceptable work-rate and that’s something that’s the most worrying thing.”

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Jones had almost made a double substitution in the first half with Freeman and Clark stripped and ready to come on, but he delayed their introduction until the break, also giving Admiral Muskwe his first league outing of the season too.

It took a red card for home midfielder Mark Sykes to give Luton any kind of foothold in the game though, as despite having the majority of possession in the final 20 minutes, they never looked like rescuing a point.

Jones added: “We didn't really work the goalkeeper in and around it, the keeper didn’t have a real save to make apart from Gabe’s deflected shot, because every time we shot it went wide, every time we had a header, we didn't make a connection, with the timing.

“We weren't really right at it today and that showed.

"It's a really disappointing first half performance, second half we improved, but we couldn't have got any worse I don't think, as that was as poor as we've been for a long, long time.”