Crawley Town boss Harry Kewell declared he didn’t think Luton were ‘all that great’ despite his side suffering a 4-1 defeat at Kenilworth Road last night.
Although even the most ardent of Red Devils supporters would have left the ground feeling fortunate their side had escaped by just conceding four, such was the Hatters dominance throughout, Kewell clearly saw a different game to most.
When asked how good he thought the hosts were on the night, he said: “You’re looking at a game here, where you’re saying ‘how good were Luton?’ Luton were good because we gave them opportunities.
“When we actually got the ball down, they were nowhere near us, and we created just as much when we actually played it.
“The problem is we gave the ball away in silly areas, especially in the first half and they just got that momentum.
“We just needed to get that ball and keep passing it, keep moving it and keep them moving, that’s what it is, but we didn’t.
“We kept on doing it, one to try and pass the ball and the next minute there were four of them attacking three of ours.
“Some of the decision making when we were defending wasn’t what we were doing, so for me, saying how good were Luton, no, I don’t think they were all that great, but we helped them.”
A quick check at the stats makes Kewell’s comments even more baffling and Luton had 63% possession on the night, with 20 shots to the visitors’ seven, 11 on target against two, plus winning 11 corners, while Crawley managed three.
However, the Red Devils boss felt Luton’s opportunities mainly came from errors by his own side, as he continued: “I’ve got no complaints about the three goal margin, I’m disappointed.
“Full credit to Luton, they deserved it, but the chances that Luton had came from us, no question about it.”
“They didn’t once kind of pierce us open once. I could go back through the whole video and say every time they broke away and had a chance was when we gave a sloppy pass away or we got tackled or didn’t pick up the second ball.
“We gifted them I suppose the opportunities to score their goals.
“There was a slight deflection for the first one, not picking up on the second one, so it’s always going to be hard to come back from that.
“But I always thought if we played the right way we’d always cause them problems, and in moments in the game, when we got the ball down and passed it and moved it, we caused them problems.
“But we didn’t do it enough, we just decided to forget our good habits and go in a bad way.
“We didn’t do the ugly stuff - they did all the ugly stuff, so they deserved it.
“I’m 100 per cent surprised, I don’t understand it, but it’s something that we take, we learn from it and then we continue.”
With Town wasting a plethora of chances in the first period, it looked like they were only going to lead 1-0 at the break through Olly Lee’s strike, only for James Collins to added a vital second on the stoke of half-time.
That was a body blow for Kewell, who said: “I was hoping to go in at half-time at 1-0 because that’s a dangerous score but Luton, who have scored something like 67 goals this year, you leave one of their strikers free on a corner, what’s going to happen?
“There were little moments where we kept the ball, kept it moving and when we did that we created opportunities. “Then we decided to go long ball again, we lost the opportunities. My team, we want to play the right way, but the right way also means hard work.”
Finally, Kewell also felt that Luton had the rub of the green when it came to decisions from referee Craig Hicks on the night too. Admittedly he played a good advantage for Town’s first goal, and gave a penalty which Collins hammered home late on, but the official also gave a number of strange decisions against Luton all evening.
However, Kewell added: “I’m not going to lie, a lot of the balls went their way and if he (Nathan Jones) turns round and says anything different, he’d be lying. “They got the bounce tonight, which happens. We’ve got to pick ourselves up, put the game behind us and we continue.”