Luton Town were humbled 2-0 at the weekend by Preston despite the two sides being at opposite ends of the league table and boss Nathan Jones has been quick to admit to Luton Today that it was a ‘wake-up call’ to his team.
The Hatters have been one of the most in-form teams in the entire league and after a string of solid showings, they found themselves sitting nicely in the play-off spots in the table. Heading into the game against PNE at the weekend, Nathan Jones’ side were even unbeaten in their last five league outings.
However, the Lilywhites were not simply there to be brushed aside and instead stormed to a 2-0 victory over the Hatters. It was their first defeat since September and means the club have now slipped slightly down the table to tenth.
Luton are still in a decent enough position to bounce back and challenge for the play-off places and there is still plenty of the season left but boss Jones was quick to admit that his side were handed a ‘wake-up call’ after the result and even told Luton Today that one of their most reliable players wasn’t at his best on Saturday.
Quiz: Have each of these 24 ex-Luton Town academy players ever played in the Premier League?
He said: “Sonny fell short of his normal standards in terms of aggression, going and winning the ball and front-footedness as a lot of balls bounced and were causing a bit of confusion. So I felt okay, we’ll take one of the defenders off and get another attacker on, but we huffed and puffed without being anything
“You thought being fifth in the league, with a real chance of establishing ourselves that we would have been right at it and it’s a little bit of a wake-up call.”
Bradley himself has been a key part of the reason Luton have done so well this season. A mainstay in the side with seven games so far this year, the 29-year-old is usually a dependable face in the heart of the Hatters defence but he was hauled off at half-time at the weekend, with Jones believing a change was necessary.
Luton though couldn’t salvage a result after their first-half collapse – but Nathan Jones will certainly be hoping that going forward, his side (and Bradley) can all bounce back from this latest setback and get back into the top six.
Nathan Jones is an astute manager at this level and is finally seeing some success in the second tier with Luton. Saturday was a blow to the Hatters and a number of key performers weren’t able to help the side claim a result but it surely won’t mean the end of their push for a play-off place.
Bradley and the rest of the side may not have had the best game but they are sure to bounce back in their next fixture. If they can, then a top six place could soon be in their sights again.