Luton boss laments defensive display

Nathan Jones admitted his Luton side didn't defend well enough in their dramatic 3-2 play-off semi-final first leg defeat against Blackpool.

Monday, 15th May 2017, 10:47 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th May 2017, 2:17 pm
Luton boss Nathan Jones

Former Luton striker Mark Cullen’s superb hat-trick gave the hosts a one goal advantage going into Thursday night’s return clash at Kenilworth Road, after Dan Potts and Isaac Vassell had put the visitors 2-1 in front.

The Luton boss was disappointed with his side's defending which he said was "out of character".

“We had the second best defensive record in the league and I didn’t envisage that, little mistakes, little errors that cost us and that was the frustrating thing," he said.

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“We showed some wonderful play to get back into the game and then to take the lead into half time. It’s just a bit of naivety second half, straight from kick off, we concede from a poor throw, and it was out of character, but we’re still well in the tie.

“But we’ve got a massive game at Kenilworth Road on Thursday night that we’ve got to show up for.”

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The Luton players and fans were disappointed with a number of the referee's decisions after he awarded Blackpool a penalty after Scott Cuthbert hauled Tom Aldred down to the ground in the penalty area despite repeated warning.

But the Hatters felt as though they had at least two good shouts for a penalty themselves.

Jones stormed straight over to Nigel Miller as soon as the final whistle blew but, speaking after the match, he said his side can't use the referee's performance as an excuse.

He added: "I don’t think the referee had a particularly good game in terms of lots of things, but if we had defended better then they wouldn’t have got three goals.

“We’ve played well in certain areas and scored, but we didn’t defend well enough, we really, really didn’t.

"We weren’t brave enough, weren’t tight enough, their front two were allowed to get it into feet too early, and too easily.

“We didn’t really have enough defensively really to keep a clean sheet and that’s what we need to do as I know we’ve got plenty going forward.”