Luton manager Nathan Jones has been very critical of his players for what he described as a “ laid back attitude ” after reaching 50 points as they suffered a second successive Easter period loss going down 2-1 against Barnsley at Kenilworth Road this afternoon.
A tasteless first-half performance saw the Hatters lag 1-0 to Daryl Dike’s opener in the 27th minute, the loaned Orlando City forward ignoring Matty Pearson’s challenge to beat Simon Sluga.
He added the second on the hour mark after a Sluga error, before seeing a late penalty saved by the Croatian which led to James Collins pulling one out for the hosts, which was to prove consolation.
Jones stayed in the locker room for well over half an hour after the conclusion, as after he said: ‘I wanted to make sure I came here and spoke properly because I think we looked away from the ball a bit in the last two games.
“We beat Preston and were totally different in Derby (2-0 loss on Good Friday) and today how we were in Preston and Coventry.
“We hit 50 points and I think a few of them looked away from the ball.
“A few of them have suddenly changed from who we are and we’re going to go back to who we are because we want to improve, but at the end of the day I want us to win football matches and let’s be difficult to beat.
“If we’re just going to get back to basics a little bit, we’ve got to do it.
“We had a bad performance today, but I think we had a poor performance in the last two games because we should have beaten Derby, we had enough chance to have beaten Derby, but now we are going to come back for a little more basics.
“I think there was a bit of a laid back attitude with a few of them at the minute.
“We have 50 points and all of a sudden they think ‘okay we have nine games to go’, but suddenly we have 50 points with seven games to go.
“I don’t want to get there with two games to go and we’re still at 50 points, that’s not how I want the season to end.”
After a dismal 45-minute opening, Jones made two changes at the break, knocking out Sam Nombe and Glen Rea, as Sonny Bradley and Harry Cornick entered, as the Luton boss hoped for a similar reaction from his side during their 3-2 victory. on Sheffield Wednesday recently.
However, with an hour gone it was 2-0, Dike with his second following a Sluga error, as if Collins pulled one out, Jones added: “I had to make some changes at half-time. in a lot of time. games and whether it was because I was tactically hurting or what I thought I was going to get from the players, I just didn’t get it.
“So I have to continue to make the right decisions and evaluate my decisions.
“But I wasn’t happy with what we got in the first half and we could have made a number of changes, but we didn’t and we were slightly better in the second half.
“The goal is a terrible goal to give.
“It was absolutely nothing, we did not defend him well enough, he came back from the goalkeeper, did not react, so much.
“But they’re at the forefront and we’re not and that was pretty much the story of the majority.
“We made changes and we were much better in the second half, we could have gained something from the game.
“In the end a little more poise, a little more quality than we could have, because we had two shots that ended at Bury Park and that can’t happen so we have to be better.”