Jones hails second half display as Luton fight back to defeat Chairboys

Town chief's quickfire changes see the Hatters triumph

Saturday, 10th April 2021, 6:19 pm
Updated Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 4:14 pm
Town defender Kal Naismith concedes a penalty against Wycombe this afternoon

Luton boss Nathan Jones felt his side got the reward they deserved for their excellent second half display as they ran out 3-1 winners at Wycombe Wanderers this afternoon.

Trailing 1-0 at the break, Jones made two changes during the interval, bringing on Harry Cornick and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall for Luke Berry and Ryan Tunnicliffe, while Kazenga LuaLua soon followed them on to the pitch.

Town were given a helping hand when Chairboys defender Josh Knight was dismissed for a lunging challenge on Jordan Clark with 57 gone, giving the Hatters just over half an hour to find a way through.

It took another substitute, George Moncur’s, introduction to finally level the scores, the midfielder scoring a trademark free-kick with 10 minutes to go, just moments after coming on.

LuaLua then bent a beautiful curler into the top corner, with Elijah Adebayo’s towering header making it 3-1 in the 88th minute, as the visitors netted three times in eight minutes, with Jones saying: “We felt at half time that we were nowhere near first half, really subdued.

"We didn’t display any kind of quality, and we said against Wycombe you have to show quality because endeavour-wise you have to match them, as they are full of endeavour.

"We had to demonstrate any kind of quality that we had, so we brought on real quality and quality for our squad and it showed.

"A lot will go down saying that the sending off changed the game but I’m not quite sure, I think the half time actually helped.

"We were able to regroup, change the shape a little, change one or two personnel and then really start on the front foot and I thought we were excellent second half.”

Speaking last week, Jones had called for a reaction from his side after criticising them for a ‘laid back attitude’ following reaching 50 points against Preston before the international break, making four changes to his side.

However, he was frustrated by the lack of desire shown from his players, saying: “I usually get a reaction from this group, we came up against a very good side in Barnsley as they’re doing everything to everyone.

"They’re just overrunning teams and sooner or later someone's going to realise what they do and might beat them, but they’re fantastic at what they do and credit to them.

"Today was slightly different and what we worked on was showing quality and being brave, playing through a press, when we get opportunities, taking them and getting the ball in the box, into the right areas, not crossing it out for a goal kick, or hitting the first man, or scaring when people get pressed.

"We didn’t do that first half, but we added quality second half and Kiernan was excellent.

“He only missed out as he had a sore back, but I thought we demonstrated real control second half, and yes we did have a numerical advantage, but I feel like we possibly could have done that anyway.”

Town netted three goals on the road for the first time this season, scoring just nine in their previous 20 encounters, as the boss added: “We created a load of chances at Derby and didn’t score, that cost us and then we conceded, but today we have.

"It still could have been more as we had some easy chances, but we didn’t.

"We've had balls flashing across, Elijah’s had chances, but he scored the goal that we brought him for as that’s a real positive.

"That was the type of goal we wanted from him and I’m so delighted for the other two, George and Kaz.”