Frustration for Hatters boss as play-off hopes end with a whimper
Hatters boss Nathan Jones was left frustrated with the way Town's play-offs hopes have ended in such a tame fashion this season.
A 1-0 win at Leyton Orient just three weeks ago saw Luton give themselves a real chance of making the top seven, as they cut the gap to three points.
However, Hatters have since lost four of the last five games, including three successive home defeats, the latest against Accrington Stanley yesterday, to fall nine points adrift with just six matches left.
Jones said: “We had a brief spell where we won a few home games on the trot and three four games ago we said about a great opportunity to do something this year.
“We’ve fallen away with a whimper, that’s the disappointing thing that we’ve had a soft underbelly and those are the things that we have to change.
“I think that’s the kind of mode that we’re in at the minute though, we’re losing, coming to the end of the season, a couple might not believe that we could have done something and it’s proven that with a real soft showing.”
Once again, it was Town’s inadequacy in front of goal that cost them at the weekend, as they failed to score for the third home game running.
Josh McQuoid and Jack Marriott both missed good opportunities early on, as Luton have now netted just twice in their last five matches.
Jones continued: “Performance wise we showed a vast, vast improvement from last week, I thought first half we were excellent, really excellent.
“We should have gone in ahead, because we had clear, clear cut chances, four yards out, just an open goal, we expect to score that.
“Jack Marriott is clean through, Cameron’s (McGeehan) had an opportunity, they’ve scored from an identical chance to what Cameron had,
“But I thought we were excellent, how we moved the ball, how we pressed, how we played, we had a real good performance.
“We’ve had more chances, more possession, but again we didn’t convert them, as we’ve created enough to win a game again, clear cut opportunities, that we haven’t scored from and then we just get hit from sucker punches and that’s what’s happened to us.”
Despite seeing his side find the net a mere 14 times in his 15 games in charge so far, including just four from his eight home matches, Jones is confident he can turn Hatters into a potent force once more.
The boss added: “We have a structure, we play, then people have to relax in those opportunities and find the net and that’s what we’re not doing at the minute.
“I think our general play at times was excellent, I think we created enough to have scored in that game, but the first goal is so so vital.
“Their second one was a header from 12 yards that was a great finish, that’s the type of form they’re in, the type of players they have.
“I felt we had enough clear cut chances to score in this game not a problem.
“We’ll keep working, keep finding a formula to get us goals, because I’m a positive coach, a positive manager and we work constantly on our structure to score, to finish, to defend well, so that’s all we have to do.”