Luton chief disappointed with Blackburn's 'carbon copy' equaliser at Kenilworth Road

Simon Sluga makes an important save to deny Blackburn Rovers at the weekendSimon Sluga makes an important save to deny Blackburn Rovers at the weekend
Simon Sluga makes an important save to deny Blackburn Rovers at the weekend
Hatters manager annoyed lessons weren't learned by his defence

Town boss Nathan Jones was left bitterly annoyed by the manner in which Blackburn Rovers levelled during their 1-1 draw on Saturday, labelling it a 'carbon copy' of their equaliser at Kenilworth Road last season.

He has a point too, with striker Sam Gallagher on the pitch for a matter of minutes, before stealing in between Matty Pearson and Sonny Bradley to turn in Barry Douglas’ header, after he had outjumped Martin Cranie, the goal coming shortly after Luke Berry had put Town 1-0 up.

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Rewind just four months and Gallagher had been on slightly longer in the final day decider, 14 minutes this time, once more escaping the attentions of Town's defence to turn in his side's second of the night and make it 3-2 with 15 minutes to go.

Luton eventually held on for the victory that ensured they stayed in the Championship, as although this time the hosts couldn’t grab a winner, just as importantly they didn’t concede again despite some late Rovers pressure, to pick up another important point and make it three games unbeaten.

Jones said: “It was a fair result in the end.

“I’m really pleased with the performance, I really am, especially the first 60 minutes, when I thought we were excellent.

“First half we were really good once we got to grips with the game, I thought some of our play was really brave.

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“Even though we won the final game of the season (against Blackburn) they were different, they were chalk and cheese games.

“It was such a competitive game, played at real pace, with real quality and I’m really proud of the team.

“I’m really disappointed with the goal because it was a carbon copy of the second goal they scored here at the end of last season, and that’s the disappointing thing.

“The manner really killed, really, really disappoints me.

"We were 3-1 up here and absolutely cruising and then on 70 minutes, they just flip the ball in the box, someone's on the end of it and that’s the disappointing thing.

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"We didn’t learn from that and that’s a learning curve from us, because from all their good play, it took something like that to break their deadlock, and that’s disappointing.

“But, apart from that, I’ve got a group here that’s giving me everything, a group that’s working hard and a group that’s growing.”

Midfielder Luke Berry was also frustrated with the manner of Blackburn's goal, as he said: "The gaffer said to us it’s quite similar to what they did last season, so it’s something we need to learn from.

"It’s an awkward ball, he’s won the ball, it’s bounced and it’s one of them where it’s just awkward.

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"He got there in front and we did well to keep it 1-1 in the end."

The visitors had come into the match as the division’s leading scorers, also possessing the top marksman in Adam Armstrong, who barring a goal disallowed for offside, didn’t have many opportunities to test Simon Sluga as Luton defended valiantly throughout.

Jones felt the performance showed his side are now beginning to establish themselves at this level, as he added: "We’re not happy just to contain and to be sitting back, we’re evolving.

"I’ve seen real good signs again of us evolving and I’m really proud of the group.

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“These are a free-scoring team and they can punish you, they can score threes and fours at will and you’ve seen that.

“For us to be competing and, at this point in time, above them in the league, shows that we’re in a good place.

“The pleasing thing for me is that we’re a Championship team.

"I knew we were a Championship team a little while ago, but we are a Championship team, we’re competing at Championship level.

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“No-one comes here, or, if they do then they’re idiotic, if they think they’re going to have an easy game, or they’re going to turn Luton Town over, and that’s good.

“Now we have to keep that consistency, keep that solidity and then evolve slightly into a better Championship footballing side.

"Once we do that we’ll be in a wonderful place.”

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