Hatters first team coach Hakan Hayrettin blasted his side’s fundamental errors made defensively after the 4-3 defeat against Northampton Town yesterday.
Luton were cut to ribbons at the back by an impressive Cobblers side, particularly in the first half, as they conceded three times to trail 3-1 by the break.
“The goals we’re conceding are so sloppy and unlike a John Still team that I know.”Hakan Hayrettin
Although Hatters improved slightly in the second period, drawing level at 3-3, sub Ricky Holmes then ran unchallenged from the halfway line before shooting past Mark Tyler to win it for Northampton.
Hayrettin said: “When you go 1-0 up at home you expect to win, when you score three goals at home you expect to win.
“I think our second half performance was decent, but we can’t concede the goals we conceded the way we have been and expect to get back in the game.
“Our defending wasn’t good enough, the gaffer knows that, we’ve got to get back to work and try and rectify that.
“But the goals we’re conceding are so sloppy and unlike a John Still team that I know, or any team really. You cannot defend like that and expect to go and win the game.
“We’ve given it a go second half but it just wasn’t to be. The players don’t want to go out and make fundamental mistakes.
“As a player or as a group of players, we know that we need to do better at certain areas, especially the back.
“It’s not good enough, the defender’s need to work hard, the people in front of them need to work harder, we need to be a bit tighter.
“We need to go back to when we played Barnet here, they didn’t get a shot on the goal. And then for whatever reason it’s gone on to the little run that we’ve got where we cannot just keep a clean sheet.
“We need to go back to that, we need to work hard. Sometimes when you’re in a street fight, you need to swing hard until you come out the other end.”
Town were booed off at half time by the home fans with manager John Still in particular coming in for severe criticism, but Hayrettin revealed the coaching staff hadn’t gone ballistic at the players during the interval.
He continued: “It was very placid, very calm. There’s not a lot to say, because if you don’t know what you need to do, in a situation like that, what can you do?
“You can’t go in there screaming and shouting. The manager told them in the right way, they understood it in the right way, I think they showed a response in the right way, but they go and get a goal like that at the death to kill us.”
On Holmes’ winner too, Hayrettin believes the players should also accept some of the criticism too, adding: “We should have done a lot better, he slipped off one, he’s turned, he’s run at us, he’s come far, he’s had a shot, I don’t know if (Mark) Tyler could have got it.
“We thought it got a deflection, it didn’t get a deflection. Sometimes you’re in the lap of the gods and look up and say ‘what’s going on here?’
“We have to defend better for sure, 100 per cent we have to defend better, but it’s very bizarre when we look at things like this. As we work so hard and so tirelessly to make sure they understand and do the right thing, but although it’s good play for them, we expect to do better than that.
“It’s just really, really sloppy and when he (Still) came here our biggest strength was working from the back and working forward.
“For whatever this reason it hasn’t really clicked into place. The amount of effort and time we spend on the training ground with the players to do the right thing, they need to take a bit of responsibility for that in my opinion.”