Hatters midfielder Cameron McGeehan revealed that a half time dressing down from manager Nathan Jones helped his side register a first victory at York City since 2001 on Saturday.
After an opening period devoid of any excitement or shots on target from the visitors, they were a different side in the second half, with McGeehan himself breaking the deadlock just seven minutes in.
Jack Marriott and Olly Lee’s last-minute cracker ensured victory, in what could be described as the archetypal game of two halves, as McGeehan said: “The gaffer got into us and said it was probably the worst we’ve played since he’s been with us, so that was deserved.
“It was a very strange atmosphere, I thought it was a bit quiet, was like a pre-season game first half and then he got into us at half time and gave us some life and passion.
“It was good to see that from the manager, that’s what we needed and it worked.”
Midfielder Lee agreed too and felt his side deserved some harsh words for the opening 45 minutes, as he said: “The gaffer was big on trying to get a fast start and it didn’t really happen for whatever reason.
“We weren’t good enough first half, a few words were said at half time. A few people got a few kicks up the bum and sorted out a little bit.
“Then we livened up and showed what we are really like second half and we got the win.”
On what was discussed in the dressing room, Jones himself said: “I don’t think it was any sort of ranting or raving, it’s a vociferous evaluation really and saying what they needed to hear.
“Sometimes they need a lift or need a gee. Sometimes they need the enthusiasm and if that comes from me then it does. Sometimes I’ll say things, but it wasn’t good enough in terms of what we need to achieve to win one game or move forward.
“He got into us at half time and gave us some life and passion and it was good to see that from the manager, that’s what we needed and it worked.”Cameron McGeehan
“We did pick it up to be fair to them, they were far, far better second half, scored three goals that we think are good goals, but we conceded goals we felt we probably could have eradicated, although I’m sure they (York) felt the same.”
Despite the victory, which saw Hatters earn back-to-back wins for the first time since November, McGeehan wasn’t shouting from the rooftops, as he continued: “It was a bit all over the place really wasn’t it. It wasn’t the best we’ve played all season and I think we were pretty lucky to get away with it.
“But the character was there, the character Nathan Jones has brought with him and the organisation that he’s given us, so even when we’re not doing great to hang in there and keep going.
“On that note it’s good but we know we’ve got to do better than that. That’s part of the reason we’re in the predicament we’re in because we’ve been so poor all season, that was more evidence.
“We can’t accept that performance, it’s not good, I’m not going home with a great smile on my face.
“It was a win, but it wasn’t a good win, because we didn’t play anywhere near where we can do, but we got the job done in the end, three points on the board.
“It’s not like we’re in a position in the table to be celebrating every win. We need to be better than that and hopefully we can show that on Tuesday (against Morecambe).”
Jones was pleased to hear that kind of assessment from his players too, adding: “One thing I did say was that I don’t think they would then come out and say ‘we played quite well,’ when I would have reiterated the fact that they probably didn’t.
“The pleasing thing is, we scored three goals away from home, we won a game of football which is really, really important.”