Jones frustrated by Town's defending as Luton concede carbon copy of Middlesbrough's opener against Potters

Hatters boss thought his side deserved something out of home defeat

By Mike Simmonds
Monday, 8th November 2021, 9:34 am
Updated Monday, 8th November 2021, 9:36 am
Nathan Jones screams out his orders during Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Stoke
Nathan Jones screams out his orders during Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Stoke

Hatters boss Nathan Jones was left bitterly frustrated in the manner in which his side were breached by Stoke City at the weekend, as they conceded a virtual carbon copy of the opening Middlesbrough goal in midweek.

With just over half an hour gone on Saturday, a ball down the visitors right sent Romaine Sawyers away and before Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu could get close enough, his cross took out all three Town centre halves for striker Jacob Brown to beat Simon Sluga from close range.

It was a mirror image of Tuesday night when Boro took the lead at Kenilworth Road thanks to Josh Coburn finishing off Andraz Sporar’s delivery from almost the same spot.

Speaking afterwards, Jones said: “Absolutely, we just said that.

“It was slid down the side, whipped across, we haven’t worked hard enough to cover the middle areas and stop the cross, so absolutely, super frustrated with it, because it came out of nothing, absolutely nothing.

“There wasn’t any sustained pressure, wasn’t anything.,

"We weren’t having to defend this, weren’t having to defend that, it was an even game.

"We probably had slightly more possession, didn’t really do much with it, they didn't do much with hit and it just came out of nothing, but that’s the Championship.”

Unlike midweek though, the Hatters couldn’t find a way back into the match this time, with Harry Cornick having a great chance in the first half when released by Mpanzu’s ball over the top, but with more time than he thought, could only tamely shoot straight at visiting keeper Josef Bursik.

Jones continued: “That’s just the composure, if that falls to (Steven) Fletcher, maybe, but that’s Harry’s learning curve.

“These are a decent side, they’re beating sides, they’re up there for a reason but we’re in touching distance and that’s a good thing.

“We’ve got to learn from it, we’ll debrief, we’ll have a look, can we do better?

"And once we do that and iron a few things out, we’ll continue to compete at this level at a real good way.”

Substitute Admiral Muskwe then had an ever better opportunity just minutes after coming on in the second half, when from a few yards out, he could only head Fred Onyedinma ‘s cross against the bar.

Jones added: “If he just cushions it, lets it hit him, that just drops in, but that's what it is, the demonstration of quality again.

"If he does get there and just touches it, then it goes in, but it shows we’re pushing them right to the end.

"We penned them in and probably on the whole deserved something from the game.

"That wasn't the case last year, they’ve beaten us comfortably twice and breezed the game.

"Today that’s not the case, they’re holding on, they’re looking to time-waste, looking to see the game out, so that shows how far we’ve come and that's all we can affect.”