Jones: Chelsea defeat is a learning curve for all of us

Hatters chief felt he got things slightly wrong tactically early on at Stamford Bridge
Ryan Tunnicliffe gets his head to the ball at Stamford Bridge this afternoonRyan Tunnicliffe gets his head to the ball at Stamford Bridge this afternoon
Ryan Tunnicliffe gets his head to the ball at Stamford Bridge this afternoon

Luton boss Nathan Jones felt this afternoon’s FA Cup 3-1 defeat at the hands of Premier League Chelsea was yet another learning curve for both himself and his players.

The hosts, on a bad run of form in the league, showed they meant business from the start, manager Frank Lampard selecting a team worth almost £250m of talent, while three England internationals Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Reece James all started.

The extra class came shining through early on, Abraham scoring twice as the Blues led 2-0 inside 20 minutes, as Jones admitted he didn't get his system quite right for the tie.

Once he altered things though, Jordan Clark make it 2-1 with half an hour gone, and had Harry Cornick levelled the scores in the second period, it might have been a different game, only for Abraham to complete his hat-trick with 15 minutes to go.

Jones said: “We gave ourselves a mountain to climb and I accept a little bit of responsibility for that as I wanted to be bold in terms of our shape, in terms of what we did, so we could get a little bit more possession in the game as I didn't just want to defend.

“Maybe we got things tactically wrong, or not quite there in the first 15 minutes, but after we made the change, I thought we were excellent throughout.

“We were disciplined, we had a goal threat, we scored, could have scored on the edge of half time, but we’re playing against a wonderful side here who overall deserved to win.

“It's a great test for us so I'm very proud of the group for that and it's a learning curve for all of us.

“A learning curve for me as a manager, learning curve for the players, but this week will give us great belief ironically as we only won one in the three games, but as a Championship team, it was probably the hardest week you can have near enough.

“Going away to Bournemouth, away to Brentford, away to Chelsea and in all three games we've been good.

“We were excellent at Bournemouth, we were excellent for 60-65 minutes against Brentford, we just couldn't quite get the goal and today we've shown we have no fear of a top for Champions League team.

“They’re a fantastic side and congratulations to Frank for the win, but they're a wonderful side with some outstanding players and we can't compete at this level at this point.”