Luton boss Graeme Jones admitted he felt ‘let down’ for the first time this season by some of his players during their 2-1 defeat against Nottingham Forest this afternoon.
Goals from Lewis Grabban and Sammy Ameobi saw the visitors coasting to victory, as they were only thrown out of their stride in the final five minutes by Callum McManaman’s excellent strike.
Although Town dominated the ball and had efforts by Dan Potts and James Collins ruled out for offside, they always looked second best, and Jones conceded he was far from happy with the performances of certain individuals.
He said: “I could easily hide behind 70 per cent possession and two offside goals disallowed, Kaz was unlucky, Callum scored a great goal, and I’m not going to.
“I was disappointed with the performance, the first time I’ve been really disappointed, the performance wasn’t good enough.
“It was a totally different challenge to the one we’ve had previously in the Championship.
“We had Nottingham Forest and we need to mark how far we’ve come at times, former two-times European Cup winners, sit in and play on the counter attack at Luton and I think we struggled for craft and creativity to break that down.
“That’s the true assessment of today, losing Izzy Brown so early didn’t help, we tried everything and it wasn’t enough.
“I haven’t (seen the offside goals back), but we weren’t good enough to win, that’s the absolute truth.
“We were too passive, especially defensively, goals that we could have avoided, and I can assure you we work at it.
“So I’m disappointed with one of two individuals today and that’s my assessment of the game.
“If you think about the last three games, the challenges are there for all to see, but we’ll stick our shoulders out and relish it.
“There were two or three players today that I don’t feel were like that and that’s my worry as I can’t go forward with them at this minute in time.
“I have to do something about it as a manager, and that’s where I’m really disappointed as I feel as disappointed as I’ve been.
“I could give you some positives, but it’s not enough.
“I need positives from more than two players, or three players, I need it from 11.
“I just feel a little bit let down today, if I’m honest with you.”
Although McManaman’s goal saw Luton threaten an unlikely equaliser, Jones felt that late surge was nowhere near enough from his team.
He continued: “That still doesn’t do enough.
“I would love to say to you we deserved something from the game, we didn’t.
“Maybe if James Collins’ goal goes in, you’ve got a longer period to force it, but we’re putting Sonny Bradley through the middle at the end, we haven’t got a big centre forward to bring off the bench like other teams, that’s just where we are for now.
“I’m not here to be blaming people. We need to understand what’s happened, we need to do something about it, we need to find solutions.
“But I need 14 players that are going to come in and execute the gameplan, understand what we’re trying to do, give everything they’ve got, show courage in terms of competing with people, show courage on the ball, show understanding and I was disappointed by some today.
“So I’ll have to look at it and address it next week.”
The manner in which Luton conceded, a mistake by James Bree for the opening goal and then Town’s defence allowing Ameobi to turn far too easily for the second was also a cause of annoyance for Jones.
He added: “It has to come from the individual, as we’ve worked on set-plays for, set-plays against, then we got done on a set-play for and a cross.
“I’d love to be able to kick a ball for people as I was a player myself and I know how I’d play, but I can’t.
“Certain people have got to take responsibility, I’m not going to name names, but that’s their job.
“That’s like me not picking a team or me not doing the tactics, that’s my job, everyone needs to come to the party, I’ve said that right from the beginning.
“Players, staff, supporters, supporters were subdued as we gave them nothing to shout about.
“It was a frustrating afternoon as it was a different challenge to the players than what we’ve faced here, and we weren’t good enough to break that down.”