Hatters boss Nathan Jones admitted he hadn’t seen Luton’s defensive shambles coming ahead of their 4-1 hammering at the hands of AFC Wimbledon yesterday.
The visitors, who had kept three clean sheets in five games going into the match, including a fine 1-0 win at Wycombe last time out, produced an inept display as they fell 4-0 down before the hour mark.
“We’ve got some wonderful players at the club, but you can’t defend like that and expect to get anything out of the game.”Nathan Jones
Although Jack Marriott pulled one back, it was damage limitation by then as Jones was left baffled at how bad his side’s defending had been.
He said: “To concede any goal you’re disappointed, to concede two you’re very disappointed, to concede four, it’s devastating really and I didn’t see it coming.
“Because we have been defensively sound, we’ve worked hard, we’ve had a game-plan, we’ve had a shape and we’ve played well.
“But today was one of the games and I didn’t see it coming because we’ve had a good positive week, it’s just defensively we were nowhere near.
“We stopped doing the good things that we’ve been doing. I thought for the first half we really did control the game, but then when they had any kind of opportunity, they looked like they were going to score.
“I’m not sure if it was from really good play, I just think it was from really, really bad defending.
“All credit to them, they had a game-plan, they stuck it and they’ve come out comfortable winners, but for me that wasn’t good enough.
“I’m just very, very disappointed in crucial moments and we just showed that we weren’t really good enough and that’s why probably we’re in the position we are.
“We’ve got some wonderful players at the club, but you can’t defend like that and expect to get anything out of the game and that’s why we never. That’s something we have to put right.”
AFC’s goals came in two quickfire bursts, with the first appearing to loop in off defender Alan Sheehan, while the recent signing then deflecting the completely unmarked Lyle Taylor’s past his own keeper too.
Jones continued: “The first one was bit of bad luck, it hit someone and looped in, but the next goal is what we’re more disappointed with as it’s stuff we work on.
“We always get covered, we didn’t and they scored from it, and it’s bitterly, bitterly disappointing.
“Some of our attacking play, not a problem with but when you concede four, I had said I didn’t want to win 5-4, I would rather win 2-0.
“But today we’d have had to win 5-4 if we wanted to win the game and we were never going to do that as defensively we were poor, very, very poor.
“I can pick holes in probably a hundred occasions where we could have defended better and that’s what’s given us what we deserve.”
Trailing 2-0, Hatters’ boss then made a change at half time, taking off Craig Mackail-Smith for defender Magnus Okuonghae, moving Alan Sheehan to left back and pushing Jake Howells further forward, but Hatters let in a further two goals before they had even got to grips with the alteration.
The boss added: “We changed because we felt we needed to get back in the game.
“Magnus brought on meant we could have natural midfield width with Howellsy in there, it didn’t work, wasn’t a good tactical change in the end because we lost the game, we didn’t come back and win it.
“To come out in the second half and to concede two quick goals kills the game.
“We wanted to get the next goal to make it more of a game, but it just wasn’t to be.
“It wasn’t a problem creating chances, he (Jack Marriott) put in a great shift for us, scored a good goal, we got into the final third, we had chances first half, even right at the end, Benno (Paul Benson) had a chance.
“We got into their half at will at times, even second half we had opportunities, it’s just you can’t concede four.
“If you concede four what are you going to do? How many games are you going to win if you concede four? And that’s the the thing.
“I’m bitterly disappointed, although I’m not going to get too carried away because that been out of character for them since I came in, but it can’t continue, that can’t continue.”