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Luton boss didn’t think his substitutions were ‘disastrous’ during Wigan’s defeat

Hatters President Nathan Jones

Luton boss Nathan Jones felt the substitutions he made in the second half of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Wigan Athletic were not “disastrous”, even though Town were ultimately losing the game 2-1 to their opponents.

Head Hatters swapped five players after the break, with Cauley Woodrow, Harry Cornick, Cameron Jerome, Luke Berry and Fred Onyedinma entering the fray at various stages of the competition, and Elijah Adebayo, Carlton Morris, Luke Freeman, Allan Campbell and Jordan Clark They made a way.

It was a move that ultimately backfired, letting Luton lead 1-0 in the final 10 minutes to make it four games without a win at Kenilworth Road and, as he spoke in his post-match press conference, Jones felt he could have Do better at making decisions before and during the match.

He had said initially, “The changes I made didn’t have an impact on the game, or didn’t have a positive effect on the game.

“We usually change the rules of the game and they really do, but today they haven’t.

“I’ve made changes and it didn’t come to fruition, so I’ll look at that.

“It’s a bit confusing, but we’ll watch it, we’ll evaluate and see what we could have done as I think I could have been better in terms of the changes I made before the start and certainly during the game we finished the game wanting to win but ended up losing.

“I will look at it and maybe we could have been better as employees.”

However, given time to reflect on the second forty-five minutes, Jones didn’t think the defeat was due to substitutions, but rather the offensive nature of his team in the last few moments when they should have shut up instead and settled with one point. It would have extended their unbeaten run to four matches.

He said: “You always look at yourself but in the middle of the week (against Cardiff) we made real positive changes and it had an immediate effect, one scored and the other helped him until we managed to make changes in the middle of the week.

“Then on Saturday I was criticizing myself because I don’t like to go out and criticize others, so I said I needed to look at myself.

“The changes were good, we were just late trying to win it, maybe we should have had more game management and maybe we said the bottom line here is we take a point.

“I felt we were in control of winning the match but apart from that, Cooley came in and played well and the other changes we made were good changes.

“Cameron Jerome had an impact and Harry Kournick had an impact.

“I don’t think it was catastrophic changes, what I said was that they didn’t have the impact they had because they scored, like we did in the middle of the week.”

With Jones and the rest of the Premier League’s managers allowed five substitutions this season, Saturday was the third time the Luton boss has done so, and also put up the most against Sheffield United and Bristol City.

The city chief knows this can’t happen all the time because sweeping game changes can have a detrimental effect on his team’s performance, even if it helped clear up Hatters’ injury problems.

He continued, “You have to be sane too.

“Five substitutions disrupted the game, what we did at Swansea for example, we had two players up front that gave us the maximum, and then in 60 minutes we introduced new players who really robbed the game.

“These are tactical changes and I don’t think you can continue to make them unless you are ahead or completely out of the game.

“Making five changes off the field is difficult because all five have to run on the ground and have to press it tactically.

“Look, it’s a different dilemma that needs to be resolved but one thing he’s going to do is help with injuries because we see now that we’re getting a lot less injuries because of that because we’re able to take people off at the times when they get injured.”

With Luton close to having a perfectly fit squad to choose from now, and only midfielder Billy Ruddock Mbanzo surely ruling out this weekend’s trip to Stoke City, the president knows he will make decisions on who to put him on the bench more stringently, adding: “This is a decision We have to make sure that the divers, they have to be a game changer, they have to be tactical.

“So whatever scenario is going to happen, we have changes and things that can happen.

“Some days it misses some very good people, it’s just nature for the better.”


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