Jones hits out at Luton players for 'laid back attitude' after reaching 50 points

Town boss thoroughly disappointed by manner of Barnsley defeat

Monday, 5th April 2021, 6:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 11:34 am
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Luton manager Nathan Jones was highly critical of his players for what he described as a 'laid back attitude' following reaching 50 points as they suffered a second successive defeat of the Easter period going down 2-1 against Barnsley at Kenilworth Road this afternoon.

An insipid first half display saw the Hatters trailing 1-0 to Daryl Dike’s 27th minute opener, the on-loan Orlando City attacker shrugging off Matty Pearson's challenge to beat Simon Sluga.

He added the second on the hour mark after an error by Sluga, before seeing a late penalty saved by the Croatian which led to James Collins pulling one back for the hosts, which was to prove a consolation.

Jones stayed in the changing rooms for well over half an hour following the conclusion, as speaking afterwards, he said: “I wanted to make sure that I came out here and speak correctly as I think we’ve taken our eye off the ball a little bit in the last two games.

“We beat Preston and have been totally different at Derby (2-0 defeat on Good Friday) and today how we were at Preston and Coventry.

“We got to 50 points and I think a few of them have taken their eye off the ball.

"A few of them have suddenly changed from what we are and we're going to go back to being what we are as we want to get better, but at the end of the day I want us to win football games and to be difficult to beat.

"If we have to just go back to basics a little bit, then we have to do that.

“We’ve had a poor performance today, but I think we've had a poor performance in the last two games as we should have beaten Derby, we've had enough chances to have beaten Derby, but now we're going to go back for a little bit more basics.

“I think there’s been a little bit of a laid back attitude with a couple of them at the minute.

"We've got to 50 points and suddenly they think 'okay we've got nine games to go', but suddenly we’ve got 50 points with seven games to go.

"I don't want to get there with two games to go and we’re still on 50 points, that's not how I want the season to finish.”

After a dismal opening 45 minutes, Jones made two changes at the break, bringing off Sam Nombe and Glen Rea, as Sonny Bradley and Harry Cornick came on, as the Luton boss hoped for a similar reaction from his side during their 3-2 win over Sheffield Wednesday recently.

However, with an hour gone, it was 2-0, Dike with his second following an error by Sluga, as although Collins pulled one back, Jones added: “I've had to make a few changes at half time in a lot of games and whether that’s because I've got it tactically wrong or what I thought I was going to get from players, I didn't get.

"So I have to keep making the right decisions and I have to evaluate my decisions.

“But I wasn't happy with what we got in the first half and we could have made a number of changes, but we didn’t and we were slightly better second half.

“The goal’s a terrible goal to give away.

"It was out of absolutely nothing, we didn’t defend it well enough, it’s come back off the goalkeeper, didn't react, so many things.

"But they're on the front foot and we’re not and that was pretty much the story for the majority.

“We made changes and we were much better second half, we could have got something out of the game.

"At the end, a little bit more composure, a little bit more quality we could have, as we had two shots that have ended up in Bury Park and that can't happen, so we have to be better.”