Jones admitted he 'went mental' at Luton's players during the half time break at Pride Park

Town chief reacts to 2-2 draw with Derby

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 10:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 10:52 pm
Luton boss Nathan Jones following the 2-2 draw at Derby this evening

Luton boss Nathan Jones revealed he 'went mental’ at his players during half time in tonight’s 2-2 draw with Derby County.

An insipid first period from the Hatters saw them trailing 1-0 at the interval, with an unhappy Jones having already made two substitutions, bringing on Fred Onyedinma and Admiral Muskwe for Kal Naismith and Jordan Clark, with just 31 minutes played.

The manager's strong words clearly worked too, Onyedinma bundling home just three minutes into the second period, as although Derby retook the lead through Josh Knight, Town always carried a goal threat, Elijah Adebayo popping up with six minutes to go to earn the visitors a point.

On his words at the break, Jones said: “I went mental at half time, I haven’t gone mental for a while, but I went mental, as it wasn’t the levels that we attained to.

"The aggression levels, backing up play, we strutted about the pitch as if we were a top, top side and that’s not how we go about our business.

"They got on second balls, they won every header, won every second ball, and that’s not us.

"We pride ourselves on that, but sometimes I’m calm, as it wasn’t solutions today on how to do it, it was we needed a bit more desire and we got it second half, we won the second half, and that’s what got us the point.”

When asked about why the first half display had been so poor, skipper Sonny Bradley caught in possession for Tom Lawrence to fire the Rams ahead and end Town's run of three successive clean sheets, Jones added: “We believe we’ve got goals in as we believe we’re quite rounded, we can go direct, we can play round people, we can go at people, so we know that we can do that, but we were nowhere near our best tonight.

"If we had been, I don’t think Derby had too many opportunities to score.

"The goals are poor, we’ve given the ball away and I was saying it to someone the other day, we’ve never given the ball away in our own box and given a goal away since I’ve been here, considering the amount of football we've played since I’ve come here.

"That happened tonight and it was poor decisions.

"It was symptomatic of us first half, we were sloppy, we were lethargic, we weren’t aggressive, we allowed them to rotate and dictate, but apart from shots from 20, 25 yards, they never looked like causing us any problems.

"We had to change, we had to make a few changes, we came out, and we were the better side, and then sucker-punched again from absolutely nothing.

"A poor goal, lose the first header, which we lost all night tonight, lost the second ball, which we lost all night tonight, and then from an angle shouldn't score from there.

"But credit to them, if you don't play well and can’t win the game, don't get beat.”