Luton chief will use his Wigan experience against Spurs to get over Griffin Park shocker

Hatters boss Graeme Jones will draw on the experience of his time with Wigan Athletic when trying to ensure his side bounce back from their 7-0 mauling at the hands of Brentford on Saturday.

Monday, 2nd December 2019, 1:30 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd December 2019, 1:31 pm
James Collins saw this shot blocked at Brentford on Saturday

The Town chief was assistant to Roberto Martinez at the DW Stadium in November 2009 when the Latics were thumped by an even more embarrassing scoreline by Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League at White Hart Lane, hammered 9-1, Jermain Defoe scoring five times.

Wigan then bounced back the following weekend, keeping a clean sheet as they defeated Sunderland 1-0 in front of their home supporters, Hugo Rodallega getting the only goal of the game.

Jones, who is now a manager in his own right, saw Luton concede four goals in 15 first half minutes as they fell to a heaviest league defeat since December 1966 at Griffin Park on Saturday.

There is a small crumb of comfort for Town fans as looking in the history books, they have reacted well to their heaviest defeats of recent times.

When hammered 8-1 at Lincoln in December 1966, their worst league loss before Saturday, Town hit back with a 3-2 win over Chesterfield at Kenilworth Road the following game, courtesy of Bruce Rioch’s double.

Meanwhile, after being spanked 7-1 at Grimsby in the FA Cup in January 1996, Luton recovered to beat Southend 3-1 in their next outing thanks to goals from Boncho Guentchev and Scott Oakes (2), going on a seven game unbeaten run, with five victories and two draws.

Apart from a defeat Bristol City in 1965, following from the 7-2 reverse against Shrewsbury, Luton have been unbeaten in the last three times they have conceded seven, against QPR (1964), Sunderland (1960) and Newcastle United (1947), beating Southend (1-0), Northampton Town (4-0) and holding Manchester City to a goalless draw.

Coincidentally for Jones, he is up against his former side at home this weekend, with Wigan, who are one place below the Hatters, visiting Kenilworth Road, as the Town chief said: “I have had this kind of thing before.

“We (Wigan) got beaten 9-1 at Tottenham and we won the next game, we beat Sunderland 1-0, as an assistant, and that’s exactly what we have to do now.

“We can’t change what’s happened today, we must make sure that this is never repeated again, and we gave to go and beat Wigan next week, simple as that.”

Since taking over in the summer, Jones has led Luton to five wins in the Championship, but overseen 13 defeats, including five in a row on the road.

When asked if he had expected it to be such a challenge in the second tier of English football this term, Jones said: “I did, because I’ve been there.

“This challenge really reminds me a lot of my time at Wigan, a small club in a big league, having to take a few on the chin, dust yourself down, show some character, and come back.

"That’s exactly where we are.”