Hatters chief thought referee got it wrong when booking Lansbury for free kick incident against Swansea

Town manager didn't think there was too much his midfielder could do

By Mike Simmonds
Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 2:35 pm
Town midfielder Henri Lansbury on the ball against Swansea
Town midfielder Henri Lansbury on the ball against Swansea

Luton boss Nathan Jones thought midfielder Henri Lansbury was unfairly shown a yellow card during his much talked about free kick incident with Swansea City defender Ryan Manning on Saturday.

During the first half and with Town already 3-0 to the good, the former Arsenal and Aston Villa player attempted to take a set-piece quickly, only to see Manning toepoke the ball away just as he went to do so.

Lansbury didn't pull out of his attempt, going on to connect with Manning’s shin, the City full back going down, with both players eventually booked by referee Tony Harrington afterwards.

Sky Sports showed the incident on their Twitter page asking if the right decision had been made, while Quest’s EFL Show pundit Jobi McAnuff declared Lansbury was ‘very, very lucky’ to stay on.

That wasn't the view that Jones had though, as he said: “We spoke to him about it, but I think the referee got it wrong.

"Henri’s going to take the free-kick, he (Manning) steps across and deliberately kicks the ball away.

"To be fair, I don’t know what else you can do.

“The amount of times that people pick the ball up and throw it, that’s time-wasting.

“Henri was going to take the free-kick that might have put us clean in.

"We did exactly the same thing the other day and scored, in the away game at Barnsley.

“He (Manning) stopped us doing that and then rolled about like he’d been shot, and that’s just it, but I thought the referee got it wrong.

“There was so much that went on in the game that we weren’t happy about, but I think any manager can say that for pretty much any Championship game.”

The caution Lansbury received was his fifth of the season already, although one of them came in the Carabao Cup exit at Stevenage.

He has been booked in his last four Championship outings and needs just one more to receive a one game ban, with the cut off point not until the 19th game of the season has been played, that some way away, when Luton head to Nottingham Forest on November 23.

When asked if he had mentioned staying out of trouble to the summer signing, especially with Luton’s ongoing injury crisis meaning they can ill afford to lose him, Jones added: “I’ve spoken to him and hopefully he doesn’t pick up a fifth booking because that will mean he misses a game, as at the minute, we haven’t got the numbers that allow him to do that.

"He’s a high-level midfield player, we believed we were getting that when we signed him.

“He’s done very well in the games he's played, picked up one or two things, but he’s everything we thought he would be.

"We believe he’s going to get better once he gets real rhythm and a run of games, but we keep saying that about a lot of people.

"We’ve got about seven to come back that, once they get real rhythm, we’ll be a better all-around outfit.

“Right now, we’ve just got to batten down the hatches and make sure we put out a team that’s really competitive and can get results.

"Then, dust them down, be ready to go again for Wednesday (against Coventry), dust them down to be ready to go again for next Saturday (against Huddersfield), so it’s relentless.”