Luton chief has no fears over playing three at the back again

Marek Stech is beaten by Jason Cummings' penalty
Marek Stech is beaten by Jason Cummings' penalty

Hatters boss Nathan Jones has insisted he would have absolutely no hesitation in playing three at the back once more.

The Luton chief went with the formation at the weekend, instead of his usual diamond system, only to see Peterborough score three times in just 20 first half minutes to go 3-0 ahead and put the result beyond Town.

I’ve absolutely no fear in playing anything, but the be-all and the end-all is that is was nothing to do really with the system, it was how we defended in certain areas.

Nathan Jones

Jones admitted afterwards he had made the wrong decision tactically and held his hands up, but when asked if had any fear in deploying the same tactics again, he said: “Of course not. We have the players to do it, we recruit so that we can play any formation, any formation that we work on, we can play.

“We have the three centre halves who are comfortable, four, five centre halves who are comfortable in those areas, we have four full backs who are attacking that can play in that area.

“We have midfielders who can play in a one and a two, or a two and a one, whatever they want to do and we’re very proficient in the diamond.

“I’ve absolutely no fear in playing anything, but the be-all and the end-all is that is was nothing to do really with the system, it was how we defended in certain areas and we’ve got to be better.”

Although Jones shifted the blame from the players to himself during the post match interview, speaking to the press on Monday, he admitted he wouldn’t be making a habit of doing that.

The Town chief said: “A lot of things went against us at the weekend.

“We weren’t good enough in terms of setting up to deal with a counter attack, that we should have been, which is something I accepted responsibility for, in terms of a change of shape.

“But it’s not an alien shape, we’ve played that over 20 times, we’ve played that in a play-off semi-final, we have the players to do that, we just weren’t organised out of possession, so I expect that not to happen again.

“I took the blame for that one, but I won’t be doing that too often in terms of just owning up when it might not all be me.

“We were just totally out of sync really with what we normally do.

“We were naive in our defending, and it wasn’t even the shape at times, the shape maybe the first one, but the second one was nothing to do with shape and the third one was from a corner.

“So it’s just not decision making, not dealing with counter attacks, that’s what it was and they had four counter attacks that we didn’t deal with well and that’s cost us the game.”

One slight ray of light for Jones was the rarity of Saturday’s display, as they only conceded three or more twice on their travels last season, at Newcastle United (3-1) and Port Vale (4-0), as he added: “It hasn’t happened to us before, we haven’t been that inept defensively before.

“When I first came, there was Wimbledon away when we lost 4-1, and that was a different group of players to what I have now, so this one was more hurtful.

“We tried to address that, but our set up from a corner doesn’t change, we’ve never been done from a counter attack from a corner, but we got done on Saturday.

“Then a lot of things went on in the game, decisions that we weren’t happy about, we asked to get clarity on and we’ve been given clarity on those decisions.

“So it was just an accumulation of things, coupled with a lot of other things that went on, but if only those things go against you and you defend well, you still get something from the game, so that’s what it was.

“We have to make sure we eradicate them because I’m sick of saying about the level, we’re comfortable at the level, we’re a good side, we have good players.

“We have players who can play at this level and will do very well at this level, players that can play at a higher level, we have Championship clubs coveting our players, so it’s nothing to do with the level.

“It’s just a little thing that we’re going through at the minute that we’ve got to come out of, so we’ve got to put that behind us and move on to Tuesday.”