Hatters boss Nathan Jones has warned his side he won’t shy away from demonstrating a ruthless streak in the January transfer window after witnessing his side exit the FA Cup at Accrington Stanley this afternoon.
The Luton chief singled out defender Stephen O’Donnell plus midfielder Olly Lee for their mistakes that led to Stanley’s first goal, a wonderful curler from Sean McConville.
We have targets that we want, they won’t change, it’s just maybe a few other things might.Nathan Jones
Jones has already signed Lawson D’Ath from Northampton, sent Alex Gilliead back to Newcastle and allowed Mark O’Brien to join Newport since the window opened, but when asked if today’s performance would have any impact on his future business, he said: “We have plans for people we want, but maybe we need to be a bit ruthless.
“I’m quite prepared to be ruthless because I want to succeed here and I want to do well. We have targets that we want, they won’t change, it’s just maybe a few other things might.
“It was poor decision-making and some of these things keep happening. So that’s when maybe a ruthless streak needs to be had by the manager, because I can’t keep making excuses and compromising on certain things.
“I want to know with the 11 I put out there that I can rely on them for everything. I’ve waxed lyrical about their performances and how good they are at times and how this and how that.
“But top sides don’t make those silly errors and I believe we’re a top side but, at times, they don’t really back that up and that’s what happened today.”
The opening goal in what had been a first half low on quality arrived when wingback O’Donnell, who had only been on the field for five minutes after an injury to captain Scott Cuthbert, played a poor pass to Lee, whose non-challenge allowed Stanley to break away.
Jones could barely contain his frustration with the pair afterwards, saying: “Right before half time, our defensive midfield player pulls out of a challenge.
“No-one closed down and the same people are making the same errors for the goal.
“They scored a good goal, from their point of view, it’s a curler, top corner.
“But before that, our right back gives the ball away with an inside pass, again.
“Then, because it’s a 50-50, my defensive midfield player pulls out of a challenge, doesn’t go through it and that’s what has cost us.
“If the ball’s a bit tighter, Olly plays it around the corner. If he’s a bit more committed he comes out of the challenge and wins it, so that goal doesn’t happen.
“The same people are making the same errors and that’s the thing that’s frustrating for me, it really, really is.”
“We’ve been in a good place and this is a bad result, so we won’t get carried away. But certain people have to now tighten up their game because we want to get promoted.”