Luton chief accepts responsibility for Bluebirds defeat but slams the 'lack of bravery' on show from his side

Town boss annoyed with himself for picking the same players who had lost to Cardiff previously

By Mike Simmonds
Sunday, 28th November 2021, 11:15 am
Updated Sunday, 28th November 2021, 11:24 am
Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Luton boss Nathan Jones slammed the majority of his side for showing a complete ‘lack of bravery’ during yesterday's 2-1 defeat against Cardiff City at Kenilworth Road.

The Hatters have now lost all five matches against the Bluebirds since returning to the Championship in 2019, with Jones in charge of the last three, beaten 4-0, 2-0 and 2-1.

He made five changes for the match, admitting afterwards that he regretted his selection, and going into more detail into just why his team were so poor, he said: “A lack of bravery all round, in every sense.

"In football sense, bravery on the battlefield can be you don’t stand up to a fight, that’s one form of bravery.

"Another form of bravery is getting on the ball, doing the right things, outworking someone, being brave in your movement, there was no bravery today, no bravery whatsoever.

"Being scared of taking a hit, pulling your head out, all those forms of bravery that I expect from our team, we didn’t do today.

"So I accept full responsibility, because I should have known, because they’ve done that in the past.

“We didn’t stand up to the battle, we lost two many fifty-fifties from pulling out, then we weren’t brave enough in possession to get hold of it and outwork someone.

"Then when there were opportunities in the final third, were we brave to really go at someone and take them on, cause them problems?

"No, so all those braveries added up to us being way off it."

The changes made by Jones saw Simon Sluga, Glen Rea, Jordan Clark, Harry Cornick and Amari’i Bell all come back into the side, but the manager felt it was the wrong call to trust certain players he had selected against City in the past.

Of the 11, only Sluga, Rea, Sonny Bradley, and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu have have started all three matches against an imposing Bluebirds side, as although Jones absolved four of his team from blame, he had some strong words for other seven, continuing: "Jordan Clark was outstanding, Kal Nasmith was outstanding, Elijah Adebayo lived off scraps and Simon Sluga could do very little.

“If you can tell me different, then let me know.

“Making the changes I did today was to make us stronger, make us bolder and they didn’t.

“Jordan Clark was excellent, he was the one midfielder in the first half who got hold of the ball, who moved it, that was brave in possession and he was exactly the same second half.

"Kal Naismith is as brave as you like, if you can tell me anyone else who was excellent, I beg to differ.

“We were nowhere near today and I accept full responsibility for that, as I trusted some players that I probably shouldn’t have.

"Normally we’ve been really good and aggressive, we’re a front-footed side, but today against Cardiff who have got size and experience and a bit of aggression, I trusted players that I knew in the past have let me down against sides like this and that's my fault, so I have to accept full responsibility.

"I can’t remember Cardiff having masses of chances, they've had two crosses and scored from two as we haven't done the basics right.

"We’ve had umpteen situations, but we never did anything, that wasn't a Luton side.

"So I accept full responsibility for today’s game, because I didn’t pick the right team to go into today’s game, to match a Cardiff side coming away from home with the experience they’ve got.

Jones was quick to point out that his side don't always serve up performances like they had done though, as it was only a month ago they were sitting fifth in the table, with thoughts of a play-off push emerging.

He added: "Some days they’re courageous, they’re big, they’re bold in everything they do.

"We went to (Nottingham) Forest the other day and were courageous, bold, but today we weren't, on every level.

"We didn’t get hold of the ball, didn’t control the game, we didn't play with tempo, didn't stretch them, didn't play with aggression, didn't out-press them, didnt'r outwork them and that’s fundamental for us to stay in this division.

"To be a decent side at this level, you have to do that, because as I said, we haven't got better players than everyone.

"What we’ve got is a way of doing things and today we didn’t show that.”