Jones: Lessons have been learned from 'one-off' QPR defeat

Matty Pearson makes a block as Town came under intense pressure at QPR on Saturday
Matty Pearson makes a block as Town came under intense pressure at QPR on Saturday

Luton boss Graeme Jones believes his side have learned some real lessons after what he felt was a ‘one-off’ defeat at QPR last weekend.

The Hatters found themselves 3-0 behind with just 28 minutes on the clock at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, as the hosts threatened to run away with the game.

However, they didn’t, due to Harry Cornick’s opportunistic strike before the break and then a much-improved second half performance, James Collins’ predatory finish early on, seeing them fight back to 3-2.

Try as they might though, Town just couldn't find an equaliser, as Jones said: The first 30 minutes was many, many different things, which I’ve been through with the players.

“The last 60 minutes was many, many different things on the flip-side, which was positive.

“I can assure you, sitting here, we have learned.

“We also took the positives of the last 60 minutes and how close the game was at the end.

“Crystal Palace were 3-0 down after 23 minutes on Saturday (against Spurs) and they got beaten 4-0.

"We were the same and got beat 3-2, so there are positives to be taken as well.

“Everybody wants answers in the group in order to move forward, and this was a one-off game.

“There’s not many teams that play the way QPR play.

“His (Mark Warburton) game is based on numbers.

“If he is playing 4-3-2-1, he leaves four behind the ball when they’re building and attack you with six.

“If he’s playing 5-3-2, he will leave four behind the ball and attack you with a different six.

“That method of work is really effective, but that’s why I said after the game why I thought Queens Park Rangers will be up there, because they’ve got quality players within that.

“(Toni) Leistner, (Ilias), Chair, (Ebere) Eze, (Jordan) Hugill, Nakhi Wells, so I was very, very impressed with them and sometimes you have to take your hat off, you have to respect the opposition and say 'well done.'

“But the first place you look is at your own door and we have and I think we’ve got some clarity.”

Jones had altered his side for the game, surprisingly dropping Jacob Butterfield to the bench, bringing in Izzy Brown, to give the Hatters’ midfield a more attacking look to it.

On just why he did that, Jones added: “Queens Park Rangers play with two strikers, so I wanted Ryan Tunnicliffe in touching distance doing two jobs if he possibly could.

“The modern centre halves are not dealing with two centre forwards anymore, they’re not.

"I wanted to make sure we were in a three v two situation, sometimes we were and sometimes we weren’t.

"We had wingbacks to deal with so you can’t get your cover from full backs, you have to get to cover elsewhere.

“Remember, it was the first time Ryan Tunnicliffe played in that position, but Martin Cranie was injured, who amongst other things, was signed specifically for that kind of role.

"I know the league and I know what kind of games you need to use that player in, so we had to adapt.

“It’s not about any individual, it’s a collective thing, me included.

“I don’t want to go into detail because we’ve got a game on Saturday that we need to be competitive in, but we all know what's happening now, it’s clear."