Annoyed Jones lambasts Town’s defending for Stags opener

Town boss Nathan Jones
Town boss Nathan Jones
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Hatters boss Nathan Jones was left to rue his side’s defending once more as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Mansfield at Kenilworth Road this afternoon.

With just nine minutes gone and Luton completely dominating possession, they fell behind to a soft goal, as Matt Green converted from close range, with the hosts once again failing to deal with a corner kick.

It’s not like a great, whipped ball in, it’s a clipped ball in, that gives everyone enough time to see their man, to see the ball, to go and attack it, but we’ve switched off and it’s just basic.

Nathan Jones

That then gave Mansfield something to hold on to, which they did until Cameron McGeehan’s equaliser on 77 minutes, as Jones said: “I thought we totally dominated the game, it’s just when we give away a goal from a set-play and you don’t keep a clean sheet, then sides will just come here and shut up shop and not show any ambition whatsoever and just literally try to get a lock down and that’s what Mansfield did.

“It’s annoying and it’s stuff we work on and it’s simple. It’s not like a great, whipped ball in, it’s a clipped ball in, that gives everyone enough time to see their man, to see the ball, to go and attack it, but we’ve switched off and it’s just basic, it’s really basic from our point of view.

“Then no matter how much we do in our structure, in breaking lines, in playing through people, in getting it wide, in combination play, runs and crosses, playing out from the back, rotation, it doesn’t make a difference, because all that just comes down to then we’re having to chase the game.

“We must have 70 per cent of possession and the frustrating thing for us is that we had possession for the first six minutes, but then on nine minutes they scored and it gave them something.

“They picked the biggest side they could and just tried to play for those set-plays, but we just can’t give sides something to cling to as when we give sides something to cling to, they’ll show even less ambition than they do when they come here anyway.

“It would have been a travesty if we did lose the game, but I’m disappointed because we have to learn these things, because sides can’t just throw a ball into our box and nick something, because we don’t do that to other teams.

“We craft teams open, we look to create, look to score good goals and if sides just come and shut up shop and play on set-plays, and we allow them to do that, without punishing them, then we’re not going go to get the points we need.”

Jones was pleased with the way his side went about fashioning they way back into the game after the break, as he added: “Second half I thought we were excellent, first half we were a little bit lacklustre, so we changed stuff and second half we did everything we could to win the game.

“We got the goal, had chances, blocked on the line, we must have had 20 corners and the way we went about our work second half was really, really pleasing.

“That’s how I want us to play and we didn’t resort to lumping it, didn’t resort to just putting it in people’s boxes, we kept possession, we were inventive, played through people, the keeper’s made one or two good saves, we had enough chances to win the game again, but I would just like one to be enough.”