Luton chief Nathan Jones has warned his players that he won’t accept a repeat performance of the 3-1 defeat at Peterborough United on Saturday.
The visiting boss saw his side crumble in the opening 36 minutes, to trail 3-0 as Jason Cummings scored twice, with Sirike Dembele on target.
Although Jones took the blame for changing his system in at attempt to combat Posh’s attacking threats, he did leave those picked in no uncertain terms of his feelings, saying: “I’m not going to take anything away from Peterborough’s first half performance, they were high energy, they got at us, it was pretty much identical to the Mansfield performance we had last year, and we didn’t handle it.
“We prepared for it all week and we didn’t handle it, and that’s what cost us the game.
“We had enough opportunities to score three, but you can’t expect to come back from 3-0 down and that’s a frustrating thing.
“We believe we’re a good side, but we have to learn, as we won’t get away with these things at this level, and we keep saying it.
“I’ve had a learning curve today. I’ve learned a lot about my players and about certain things, and I’m going to take full responsibility for this, but I won’t accept that first half performance and I won’t be accepting performances like that from certain individuals.
“We need to adjust to the level quicker than what we have.
"We fill them with confidence, we give them enough candy and enough toffee as we call it, but now they have to respond, and I have to learn myself, as I’m learning.
“Today wasn’t good enough. We’ve come to our local rivals and we didn’t win headers.
"That was probably the biggest side I’ve picked as a Luton manager and the amount of headers we lost was unbelievable.
"So we’ve got to learn from that and credit to Peterborough because I thought they were very energetic first half, they were clinical and that’s something that we work very hard on.”
Jones wasn’t happy with goalkeeper Marek Stech either, as the Czech stopper committed himself far too early for Posh’s third goal, Cummings rolling his shot into the opposite corner.
When asked if he thought the stopper could have done better, the Hatters chief continued: “One hundred per cent and he knows that as I’ve told him.
“We need our keepers to keep us in it and we could have done with him keeping us in that because I think at 2-1 it’s a different game, especially if we score before half time.
“So there’s a lot of ifs and buts and we could have, as we could have got something out of the game.
“But if we defend as naively as we did and we didn’t compete as well as Peterborough did, then we didn’t deserve anything from it.”
Although Town improved dramatically after the interval, Jones knew it was far too little too late, adding: “I thought our second half performance was excellent, I really did.
"We had enough chances to have got something from the game, but when you’re 3-0 down you’re just chasing things then.
“It (Danny Hylton’s goal) gave us a little bit of a lifeline, but was probably a little bit too late.
“If we had taken one of the other chances after then it could have been interesting, but when we play like we did first half and we were as naive defensively as we were first half then it’s very difficult.
"I’m not happy with the first half performance, so we move on from there.”