Jones 'can't believe' Luton have to work on set-pieces again
Luton boss Graeme Jones will take to the training ground to try and iron out his side’s set-piece deficiencies that have crept back into their game recently.
The last three goals Town have conceded, both strikes in the 2-1 defeat at Birmingham City on Saturday and then Aleksander Mitrovic’s hat-trick effort during the 3-2 loss at Fulham in midweek have been from deadball situations.
It’s something that Jones knows must stop, as he said: ”The disappointing aspect is we’ve been done on three set-pieces in the last three goals.
"That’s cost us points, so I can’t believe we’ve got to go back and start working on them as we had such a good record for a long time, but that’s where the work is again.”
The Blues first goal came on the stroke of half time at the weekend, when Luton had a great chance to clear the ball through Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, only for the midfielder to lose possession just outside the area, with City making him pay through Kristian Pedersen's opener.
Jones continued: “I ask the group for composure, you can’t just keep giving the ball back to Birmingham.
"But Pelly, if we’re talking about the state of the game, the learning curve there for us is to get it as far away from your goal as you possible can.
"There’s a minute before half time, see out the half and get in at 0-0.
"You put yourself on the back foot at that point, so there’s a learning curve today that we need not to repeat again.”
Birmingham striker Lukas Jutkiewiecz then won it for the hosts with eight minutes to go, heading home from a corner, despite clearly impeding centre half Matty Pearson.
Attacker Harry Cornick, whose goal looked like it had earned Town a point midway through the second half, knows that the Hatters must tighten up defensively.
He added: "It’s gutting for the lads because I thought we did well to get back into the game.
"We were 1-0 down, got the equaliser and we could have gone on to win the game, but another set-piece goal we’ve conceded which is frustrating and points dropped when you look back at it.
"When you’re coming away from home you can’t expect to keep a clean sheet every game, we’ve only kept one but we need to definitely try and keep more clean sheets and stop conceding set-piece goals.
“I don’t think we deserved to lose, but I don’t think we were at our best and two set-piece goals.
"We need to improve on that, as you can’t keep conceding set-piece goals and try to win games, it’s just not going to happen."