Hatters chief rues the manner in which Luton are breached twice by QPR in Friday night defeat

Jones annoyed by timings of hosts' goals at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium

Saturday, 20th November 2021, 1:30 pm
Updated Saturday, 20th November 2021, 1:32 pm
Kal Naismith wins a foul against QPR on Friday night

Hatters boss Nathan Jones was left to rue the manner in which Town were breached twice during their 2-0 defeat at QPR last night.

The visitors had started on the front foot, looking a real threat and going close through Elijah Adebayo and Harry Cornick, before falling 1-0 down on 10 minutes with a breakaway goal from their own corner.

One long ball by Ilias Chair sent Chris Willock away, who despite being monitored by Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu and Allan Campbell, was able to reach the pass and then with Simon Sluga rashly opting to charge off his line, could simply loft the ball over the out of position Croatian and into the net.

Jones said: “The goalkeeper’s decision to come was the wrong one, but we get it in, Chair leaves Fred (Onyedinma), we win the header and put it back to Chair.

"Chair then hits one long ball that we’ve got two v one and he scores it, it shouldn’t happen.

"It should be the other way round, Pelly marking and Allan in front but that’s the thing, if you don't do things right and don’t listen, that's how you get exposed at this level.

"We'd have got away with it in League One as we would have had a bit more power, a bit more pace, but you can't at this level.

"The frustrating thing is if we kept a clean sheet, I would have been really, really frustrated tonight, as I thought we were excellent at times.

"We really did move the ball well, we pressed well and we created enough to have got something out of the game, it’s just didn't show the desired amount of quality to win a Championship football game.”

Jones wasn’t too happy with the second R's strike either which came shortly after half time from a free kick on the right hand side, awarded for a foul by captain Sonny Bradley on Willock.

The Town skipper was cautioned for showing his displeasure at the decision, and although Luton looked to have initially cleared the danger from the set-piece, it was recycled out wide for Willock's cross to be nodded back by Jimmy Dunne for an unmarked Charlie Austin to make it 2-0.

It means that the former West Bromwich Albion and Southampton forward has now netted in his last three outings against the Hatters, as Jones continued: “Willock’s fouled Bradley, it’s clear.

"The linesman saw it the other way, but I think everyone who's actually seen it, saw it differently.

"But we’ve still got to defend, we win the first header, head it out, we don’t stop the cross, then we allow them to get between us and we don’t mark in the box, they head it back and Charlie Austin’s there.

"Charlie Austin doesn't score, apart from against us, he’s scored in the last three games now and we’ve resurrected his career something terrible.

"But that’s just the quality and we’ve got to be better because if we keep clean sheets we can come here and say we still missed chances, but it’s a good away performances.

"For 80 per cent of the time, it's an excellent away performance but we lost the game and that’s the only statistic everyone wants to know.”

The timings of the goals also frustrated Jones as both came just 10 minutes into either half, arriving when the Hatters were on top of the game as well, carrying the greater threat.

Austin's header on 55 sucked the life out of Town's home of a comeback, as the Town boss added: "Goals change games and we haven’t got to 10 minutes without conceding, that can’t happen.

"It’s come out of nothing, we’re on the front foot, we’re playing really well, it’s our corner, we whip the ball in, we win the header, but we’ve headed it straight to Chair and then they’ve broke and one ball they’ve scored.

"It’s out of absolutely nothing and it does knock the stuffing out of you, then we showed real good character and good quality and should have gone in at least level at half time.

"They’ve had one other opportunity, Chair’s hit it over the bar when he’s cut inside, then second half we’ve come out and were front foot again.

"Then they get a free kick out of nothing and they score from it, but those moments, we’ve got to be better in as you can’t concede in just the two moments that they have.

"If you do that then you‘re not going to win games, but this is the level, the Premier League’s even more and the Championship is brutal.

"We’ve done enough to get something from the game, performance levels, we’ll analyse it and we’re thinking, 'how have we lost that?'

"But Stoke, we didn't play well first half, second half, we penned Stoke in, they had as little as chances as they’ve ever had this season.

"So it shows there’s a real good side in there, but all that has to come together.”