Jones criticises Luton's game management as they fall to Latics defeat

Reaction from Hatters manager to Kenilworth Road loss
Hatters boss Nathan JonesHatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Luton boss Nathan Jones criticised his side’s game management after they let a 1-0 lead slip in the final 10 minutes to lose 2-1 to Wigan Athletic at Kenilworth Road this afternoon.

With 80 minutes gone, it looked liked the Hatters would be making it 10 points from their last 12 and continue climbing up the table, as they led the Latics 1-0 thanks to Carlton Morris’s goal, seemingly odds on to secure a third win from four fixtures.

However, Amari’i Bell’s clearance by his own by-line rebounded off Ryan Nyambe and and stayed in play, the Wigan player finding Callum Lang whose shot deflected off an unfortunate Tom Lockyer and beyond a previously underworked Ethan Horvath.

Then, with two minutes left, to make matters even worse, with Luton having thrown on Fred Onyedinma and Luke Berry in an attempt to win it, the hosts were caught short at the back having pushed too many men forward.

It left Thelo Aasgaard free on the left hand side and he cut in, before curling past Horvath from 20 yards to make it 2-1 and seal a win that hadn’t looked remotely possible a few minutes earlier.

Although Town almost grabbed an injury time leveller, when James Bree’s free kick was turned home, an offside flag made it four home matches without victory now and speaking afterwards, Jones said: “It’s poor game management.

“We’re normally good at managing games, but it’s poor game management to concede two in the last 10 minute at home to lose the game, that's not us.

“We weren’t at our best today in terms of energy levels, but I thought we did enough to win the game comfortably

“First half I thought we were excellent, right on top, had enough situations, enough opportunities, enough set-plays to have been further ahead, but we weren’t and then I just didn’t see that coming.

“They didn’t really get anywhere near our goal, really didn’t have a shot on target in the whole game.

“Then suddenly we mess about, give them the ball back in our own corner flag, they go through and without even getting a shot on target, they’re 1-1.

“We made changes to be athletic, and to go and try and win the game and we got caught on the counter attack.

“We said at half time, the only way we can see them scoring is a counter attack.

“Yes they’re a big side, but we’re good set-plays wise.

“We said don’t be open and we were, then the recovery run, such a poor goal to concede, but it’s one of those things, I’m really disappointed.”

Town had chances to extend their in the second period, with Allan Campbell denied by Jack Whatmough’s last-ditch challenge and Gabe Osho curling wide.

Sub Cameron Jerome then won the ball from Curtis Tilt in the area, but didn’t pick out fellow replacement Harry Cornick, appealing in vain for a penalty when he went to ground, as Jones knew they paid the price for not doubling their tally.

He added: “We needed that second goal, we should have got that second goal.

"Cameron Jerome robs him, he’s there and somehow he delays and dallies and we don’t get the goal we should have.

"There’s other opportunities, it’s just a bit baffling you can lose the game when you have no real worry during the game and that’s the frustrating thing.”