Jones urges Hatters to be stronger defensively after falling behind early yet again

Town keeper Simon Sluga comes out to smother a Birmingham effort
Town keeper Simon Sluga comes out to smother a Birmingham effort

Luton boss Graeme Jones demanded his side be stronger defensively after they conceded from yet another cross during their 2-1 defeat against Birmingham City on Saturday.

With just four minutes gone, Jeremie Biela was allowed to deliver a left wing delivery by makeshift full back Donervon Daniels, with Blues top scorer Lukas Jutkiewiecz beating James Bree in the air to power a header goalwards.

Although Simon Sluga reacted impressively to get a hand to the effort, he couldn’t keep it out, the ball bouncing over the line, leaving Town with yet another early deficit to try and come back from.

On the manner of the goal, the seventh time Town have fallen behind in the opening 10 minutes this term, Jones said: “We’ve had a defensive session on Tuesday, we had a defensive session on Wednesday and I can assure you the plan is not to conceded after four minutes.

“But we have to defend that area, we have to be stronger. Jutkiewicz, if I show you the amount of videos, he pulls back post, so get round on the cover.

"You need to be stronger, we weren’t, we’re 1-0 down.”

Striker James Collins was also disappointed to see his side breached so easily once more, as he said: “We’ve struggled this year with conceding goals from crosses and their main threat today was getting the ball out wide and putting it into the big man upfront.

"We obviously haven’t learned from that as I don’t know what time the goal was but it was early and they’ve done exactly what we were told they were going to do and we’ve got to make sure we stop that.”

Although Collins gave Luton a chance in the second period, drawing Town level from the spot, parity only lasted seven minutes, as Gary Gardner took advantage of some further poor defending to make it 2-1.

Jones added: “We were in the ascendancy at that point, we’d made a few changes with George (Moncur) and Dan (Potts), I thought they were positive, and we changed the shape.

"I think the game was in our hands, they’ve got a throw-in, and all of a sudden they go down the pitch and it’s another soft goal and that’s really disappointing."