Jones: We looked dead on our feet during Swans draw
Town chief bemoans a week of travelling before Kenilworth Road clash
Town boss Nathan Jones felt his side looked ‘dead on their feet’ after the Hatters let a 3-0 half-time lead slip to draw 3-3 with Swansea City this afternoon.
The hosts had looked in complete control before even half an hour had been played, Luke Berry scoring a stunning flying volley, while Elijah Adebayo converted from the penalty spot and then tapped home the third after a wonderful moving involving Kal Naismith and James Bree.
Adebayo then missed a one-on-one moments later, before the second half saw Harry Cornick go clean through only to fire against the post, as the Swans, who had made three changes at the break, came roaring back.
Jamie Paterson (66) and Olivier Ntcham (85) both beat Simon Sluga from outside the box via deflections, with Joel Piero drilling into the bottom corner during stoppage time to salvage an unlikely point.
The visitors then almost won it, Michael Obafemi crowded out after Sluga had gone walkabout, as Jones felt his team paid the price for trips to Blackburn Rovers and Bristol City in the week, whereas City had been held to goalless draws on home soil in their two matches.
The Town chief was also hindered by another injury in the warm-up, the third consecutive game it has happened, Danny Hylton pulling out, to join Allan Campbell, Fred Onyedinma, Amari'i Bell and Sonny Bradley on the absentee list, as he said: “We were frustrated we were only three up at half time, we should have been out of sight.
“Elijah’s gone through at three nil, it could have been four, Harry Cornick hits the post when clean in and the game should have been put to bed.
“But when you don’t do that it gives you hope, then they’ve come into it last half an hour and got three goals and that's really disappointing from our point of view.
“We looked dead on our feet.
"We've had two big away journeys and there’s no benefit for this two (away) and two (home) for me as we’ve had real trouble and I haven’t been able to make a load of changes.
“We’ve had no benefit whatsoever of having two away journeys as when we come back to play here, we haven't been able to do any work and that's tough.
“Today I thought for an hour we were excellent.
"First half was as good as defensive pressing performance as you'll see, we pressed them high and could have had far more than we did and that’s the only thing, but we didn't think we'd need more than three to win a game.
“This game should have been done and dusted, but it wasn’t and the Championship, if you don't do that, you can come unstuck.
“We should never have dropped like we did, but we looked dead, tactically whatever you would have done, we looked like we had no energy to go and press, go and win the thing.
“Then we just soaked up pressure and they scored three from outside the box, it’s not like they carved us open, they got to an area, had a shot and all three had deflections, so it’s a tough one to take.
"When you go three games and two big away journeys and playing Wednesday night and then having to go again, especially how we play, either we adjust how we play, or we've got to get our players back, and that's the way it is."
The fact that both Adebayo and Cornick missed wonderful opportunities to add a fourth and almost certainly put the game to bed was a further cause of consternation for the Town chief.
He added: “Elijah has had one first half, he's been clean in, if you do that it's four nil, if Harry scores it's five nil then it's a different game.
“But when it’s three nil, and to be fair, even their first goal, we press and we get real good pressure on it and he's just hooked it round the corner, lucky enough it's gone to someone and then they've gone out.
“So we had enough pressure on the ball, I thought our performance for an hour was excellent and unfathomably we conceded three late on and probably could have lost the game, so that’s the way it is.
“We’ve been the beneficiaries of late goals this week and now we're the victims.”