Adebayo praises Luton chief for 'keeping his cool' as Hatters score three second half goals to beat Robins

Boss knew ranting and raving wouldn't have the desired effect

Monday, 26th April 2021, 1:44 pm
Updated Monday, 26th April 2021, 1:46 pm
Town midfielder Jordan Clark reflects on a disappointing first half at Bristol City

Luton striker Elijah Adebayo hailed the calmness of manager Nathan Jones’ half-time team-talk as one of the main reasons why the Hatters were able to come back from 2-0 down to triumph 3-2 at Bristol City on Sunday.

With Town conceding twice in the final 15 minutes of what had been a fairly even first period to strikes from Nahki Wells and Adam Nagy, then as he had done when in exactly the same position against Sheffield Wednesday recently, Jones refused to go into the dressing room and dish out the hairdryer treatment.

Instead, he kept his cool and brought on two substitutes in James Collins and Harry Cornick, a move that was to pay off handsomely, the pair both on target either side of Adebayo's fifth goal since arriving from Walsall in February, as Luton made it three wins from four.

The former Fulham youngster said: “To be fair, I was expecting a little bit more (anger) from him, but he came in and he was calm as I think he knew we weren’t near the standards we had set the last two games.

“He said 'if you just raise it a tiny 10, 15 per cent, you’re going to score goals', and we needed that from everyone.

“Everyone needed to raise their levels as everyone knows they were below par in the first half.

"So to do that in the second half was credit to the boys and credit to the manager for keeping his cool as well.”

Jones himself admitted that there was no point in lambasting his squad if he wanted to get a reaction during the second period, although admitted Town’s position of safety in the table was a big factor in his ability to do so.

He also felt it showed just how much he has grown as a manager too, continuing: “It was exactly the same (as against Sheffield Wednesday), ranting and raving now, will have so much of an impact, but we needed to find solutions and make changes as I felt we needed a positivity.

"We asked full backs to step on a little bit more to deliver crosses, but when we delivered crosses, Harry's movement sometimes takes him into channels so we’d always have two in the box with Elijah and Collo.

"That's what we wanted to do, have those people in the box.

"Now effectively we scored four goals today, as we had a very good goal first half ruled out that we worked on.

"We’re delighted with the win and we were calm, we did make sound decisions, but that’s just maturing as a manager and a coaching staff, and we've got a good coaching staff.

"It’s a lot easier to do that when you're on 57 points, as when you’re on 39 and desperate for a win, it might have been a little bit more teacups.

"But we’re in a great position and we can make sane decisions, so that’s a positive."

After two excellent first halves in their recent games against Watford and Reading, it was a thoroughly disappointing opening 45 from the visitors, who were never able to dominate in the manner they had previously.

When asked why he thought that was, Adebayo said: "It's always a bit difficult to go off the back of the other two games, as you kind of think, 'okay, cool, everyone should be able to start how we started the last two games'.

"Sometimes it just doesn’t happen, sometimes things just don’t go your way and I think we were shocked we didn’t play or mix up our game enough.

"So in the second half we just thought we’d get it into front, which is why we brought on two front men, and then pin them back, so when we get into their half then you play your game.

"But the first half was just like the Sheffield Wednesday game, we just didn't start right but the reaction is what you need and we got the reaction."

Despite being able to maintain his cool at the break, Jones is aware his side can't keep falling 2-0 behind and expect to be able to bounce back, adding: "It’s a great group, we keep moving forward every day and they’ve deserved that.

"It’s just I have to keep reminding them sometimes as some people can go easy, go light, think they can have a day off, you can’t have a day off at this level, you can’t, not us.

"Teemu Pukki (Norwich strike) might be able to but not us as we need to be at it and we are, generally 90 per cent of the time, we’re at it.

"When we haven’t been we've been punished and we've had to accept that no problem.

"But what a wonderful win, away at Bristol City, a great club, great place to come and to win, I think last time they lost 3-0 here, so we're in a different place."