Nathan Jones rued his Luton Town side not being able to stop what they knew was coming as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat to Stoke.
Jones reckons Luton were good value in every department except from goals – where they were punished in the second half by Steven Fletcher and Nick Powell.
“The frustrating thing is it’s not like we don’t know what their threats are,” he said.
“I thought for the majority of the game we were excellent. I thought first half we controlled the game superbly well and looked a proper side.
“We lacked a bit of cutting edge right in the final third but apart from that I thought we dominated.
“We wanted to come out and start well, we said about it, so to concede within a minute kills you.
“It’s not like it’s come from an unbelievable source. Steven Fletcher’s been doing that for 80 years near enough.
“That’s the real frustrating thing for us. Then we don’t compose ourselves, we lose headers – and to be fair they’re a big side.
“We knew we were going to be stretched defensively but we didn’t react well enough.
“To be fair from a real positive performance for possession, shots, shots on target, everything, we should have got more out of the game but we didn’t because lapses cost us.”
The first half had been tight but Stoke scored within a minute of the re-start when Tyrese Campbell flicked in a cross for Fletcher to head home.
Powell soon made it two when he seized on a stray ball in a scramble.
Jones said: “It’s very hard in the Championship to come back and that’s what we haven’t been doing. In all honesty, we’ve not conceded many or many chances.
“It’s disappointing from how good we were first half, to lose 2-0 you wonder how it’s happened.
“Statistically we’ve had a fantastic game but we haven’t scored, they have and that cost us.”
He added: “It’s not a good goal but we tended to lose composure. From absolutely cruising…
“Tyrese Campbell is left-footed, we know that, but we allow him to come inside and he delivers a good ball and Fletcher is in an area he always is and we didn’t deal with it. They had a bit of quality and punished us.
“I’m not sure quality punished us the second time. We need to be better, we need win the first contact, get on the second, the third. If we do that, we stay in the game.
“But 2-0 is very difficult and these defend well. They haven’t conceded away from home. They’re a well organised side, a big side and the amount of attempts we had, when we did penetrate them, their keeper was in good form.”
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Adam Davies was called upon to make another couple of smart saves as he kept his ninth clean sheet in 13 games.
And Jones pointed out: “He’s a good keeper. I actually signed him. Ironically I signed him and Nick Powell and they both punished me in terms of today.
“They have real quality, a squad full of talented players and they can punish you. If you switch off, they can punish you and they did today.”