Jones to look at Luton players’ mentality after Reading reverse

Luton manager Graeme Jones is to consider employing a psychologist for some of his players after his side’s 3-0 Championship defeat at Reading.

It was Luton’s fourth successive league loss and seventh in 10 matches which left them just one place and one point above the relegation zone.

Reading eased into a 2-0 half-time lead with well-taken goals from defender Michael Morrison and midfielder Ovie Ejaria.

Luton offered only a minimal threat throughout and were punished further in the 79th minute by home substitute Garath McCleary.

Jones said: “Some players don’t need any psychological help. Sports psychology is what we’re talking about here.

“I’ve worked at every level and, without revealing names, we’ve used sports psychologists through the years.

“Some people can repair themselves, some people need help.

“And we’re at a point now where maybe we’re going to have to think about going down that route.

“It’s an area that I understand, it’s an area that I will be looking at deeply.

“It’s a reality of the mental step in the Championship, which I keep speaking about.

“As a group, that’s an area that we have not overcome yet.

“I’ll assess the boys when I speak to them and we’ll take it from there.”

About the game, Jones added: “That was very disappointing. We were outclassed, outplayed and outfought. That’s it.

“I know that today wasn’t good enough. No one needs to tell me. It’s a realisation of where we are. That’s what we’ve got.

“I work my backside off every day to try to make Luton as good as we can be. But, at the minute, it is not working.

“When you have only one shot on target, that defines where you are.

“Previously, we’ve always been a threat. Today, we weren’t. So we’ve conceded three goals and we’re not scoring.

“We need to remember what we are. Every individual needs to take responsibility, me included, and we have to do something about it.”

Reading made it four matches unbeaten, which includes three home victories, under new manager Mark Bowen.

He said: “Before the game started, I was banging the drum.

“It was all about ‘I don’t care how we win the game, just get three points on the board’.

“Now I’m sitting here really full of pride for the manner in which we won the game.

“People might say that Luton weren’t great but I’m a great believer that they’re as good as you let them be. Simple as that.

“We married the two sides of the game exactly right – when you haven’t got the ball and when you have got the ball.

“I know with the talent in my side that when we get it right when the opposition have the ball, we are a force to be reckoned with.”

Goalscorer McCleary had effectively been in first-team exile under Bowen’s predecessor Jose Gomes.

But Bowen said: “I’m delighted for Garath. I brought him back into things, to get the feelgood factor back for him.

“I see him in training every day and see the professionalism that he shows. He’s never sloppy, he does things right.

“Saturday matchday, of course, is important. It’s the main thing.

“But the players have to earn the right to be in my team and they have to be doing the right things every day.

“If they’re not, they’re not going to be in my team.”