Nathan Jones thought his team gave themselves a ‘mountain to climb’ against Newcastle United.
No doubt the Luton fans in Level 7 were complaining about having a ‘few’ stairs to climb but the Luton Manager was more concerned with the ‘three errors’ he felt his side made, as they helped guide Newcastle through into the fourth round.
Whilst Nathan Jones pointed out the mistakes/deficiencies of his own side, he was happy to accept also ‘That is the margins when you come up against these big sides.’
With Rafa Benitez surprising everybody by playing a more or less full strength Newcastle side, it was always going to be tough for the visitors.
However, they didn’t give up and after scoring early in the second half they were maybe unlucky to see a free-kick hit the bar and another ‘goal’ disallowed.
Whilst Rafa Benitez hopes to add more Premier League quality in the January transfer window, the Luton boss was left ruing ‘…a little bit more quality and we might have punished them.’
Newcastle are experiencing the importance of small margins in the Premier League but today was a very deserved victory, despite a valiant effort from the League Two visitors.
“I am very proud of the second half performance…but the overall feeling I’ve got is disappointment really.
“For 25 minutes we didn’t have a problem, it was a really even game.
“They are a good side and they move the ball well, they defended the ball well.
“We had a few moments as well…a little bit more quality and we might have punished them.
“But when you make three errors and you go three down against a Premier League side, and you’re a League Two side, it’s some mountain to climb.
“That is what it was…
“The first goal came out of nothing, no problem, big error.
“Then we are in possession and we give the ball away twice – they are in and they score.
“That is the margins when you come up against these big sides.
“If you give balls away in dangerous areas…and we worked on that all week, because we know that’s their strength, their counter attacking.
“Newcastle punished us and fair play to them.
“They punished us first half – but then it is important to get the next goal – not to concede and let the flood gates open.
“At times we were excellent in the second half, we looked an attacking threat.
“We gave a wonderful account of ourselves overall.
“We had a right go at a Premier League side – we haven’t tried to nick a result, we had a good go.
“Maybe that’s naive but we played some great football today and the fans were outstanding.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 3 Luton 1
Goals – Newcastle Perez 30, 36 Shelvey 39
Goals – Luton Hylton 49
Possession was Luton 51% Newcastle 49%
Total shots were Luton 9 Newcastle 25
Shots on target were Luton 2 Newcastle 7
Corners were Luton 7 Newcastle 7
Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Woodman, Manquillo, Lascelles (Hayden 31), Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Merino (Saivet 80), Shelvey (Diame 71), Murphy, Perez, Gayle
Darlow, Joselu, Haidara, Aarons
Crowd: 47,069 (Approx 7,500 Luton)
(To read instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the FA Cup win go HERE)
(Go HERE to watch the goals and highlights from Newcastle 3 Luton 1)
(Rafa Benitez analysis of win and update on Jamaal Lascelles injury situation HERE)