Jones: Defensive mistakes have cost us automatic promotion

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Luton chief Nathan Jones believes that regular lapses in concentration by his defenders have cost the Hatters automatic promotion this term.

The Town manager's point was highlighted once more at the weekend as with the hosts 1-0 up and looking odds on to get a second against Morecambe, they were pegged back on level terms after Scott Cuthbert left a long ball over the top and then bring Paul Mullin to concede a penalty.

It was coolly converted by Michael Rose and although Luton hit back to win through Jack Marriott's double, Jones felt the defensive mistake was symptomatic of exactly what cost his team a place in the top three this campaign.

The boss said: “It’s just frustrating as I think at time we have lapses of concentration which have cost us this season.

“I genuinely believe we’re as good as side as there is in this league, we have a structure, a way we play, we cause people problems,we’re brave, we’re young, we’re fit, we do everything.

“But we just do stupid things at times. Leyton Orient here, we gifted them back.

“Silly little things that we do, that if if we just do your job, you don’t have that.”

“Him (Cuthbert) and Glen Rea had a 10 minute period, I was convinced they had a bet on for a 1-1 draw, I honestly did.

"But all joking aside, they’ve been excellent for me, they really have. It’s just those lapses that have stopped us probably going up automatically.

"But they’re a great group, they’re going to get better, we are evolving, going into it (play-offs) in great form, seven unbeaten, winning three on the spin so we couldn’t go into the play-offs in any better form."

The defence were helped out by a stunning stop from Stuart Moore in the closing stages as he showed wonderful reflexes to turn Paul Mullin’s snapshot behind for a corner.

Jones added: “That’s a world class save, absolute world class save and he’s been like that for us. He’s grown and he’s developing for us, I’ve been very low key with my comments on him and I’m going to keep it low key as he’s been in excellent form and got better and better, so well done to him.”