Town chief left to rue his side's inability to finish their chances
Luton boss Graeme Jones felt Town’s inability to get something from their Championship clash against Cardiff City on Saturday summed up their season.
The Hatters had much the better of the first half, Harry Cornick going close twice, while Ryan Tunnicliffe and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu were both off target as well.
They were made to pay for those missed opportunities in the second period when Lee Tomlin found the bottom corner from 20 yards with what proved to be the winner.
James Collins and George Moncur both went close afterwards, but on a 21st defeat from 31 league games this term, Jones said: “Harry’s got a great chance, he's one on one with the keeper, you have to hit the target, have to make the keeper work, even then there’s secondaries.
“I can think of Tunners’ opportunity, Pelly’s shot that just missed by a whisker, Collo’s header, that every day of the week he scores and then we make one small error, try and read Tomlin, he turns us and the ball’s in the back of the net.
“We can talk about personnel, we can talk about transfer windows, we can talk about tactics, we can talk effort, we can talk about attitude, we can talk about everything, the difference in the game was us not taking our chances and them taking their one.
“There's very little anybody can do about that, as the boys gave me everything they've got and I’ll refuse to let standards drop, no matter what the situation is.
“Because if you don't let standards drop, we’ll get results and that's the frustration.
“I thought that performance was enough to get something from the game, but that’s been the story of our season.”
After being on top in the opening 45 minutes, Town couldn’t replicate that kind of display in the second period, as it was Cardiff who came on strong.
Although not creating too much in the way of clear-cut chance, they were able to grab the only goal of the game through Tomlin with 17 minutes to go.
When asked if he was frustrated by the manner in which his side performed after the break, Jones added: “There’s two teams on the pitch, it’s a competitive football match, maybe you have to give them credit for being better second half than what they were first.
“Shapes didn't change, so it can only be their personnel doing a little bit more, but we need to take our opportunities in the first half.
“If we are one or two goals up, nobody could have any complaints, but it’s been the story really.”
On just what, if anything, can be done on the training ground to improve Town’s ability to take their opportunities, Jones added: “I think we’ve got a reasonable goalscoring record, it’s just the defining moment of today’s game, the first thing you want to do is hit the target, and we haven’t hit the target.
"There’s only George Moncur, as Harry’s goes past the post, we never get a shot out of Tunni’s, Collo's is over the bar.
"You have to get the ball on target, have to make the keeper work, so that will be the only advice, the only thing I try and work on.”