Steve Bruce disappointed with West Brom’s second-half display at Luton

West Bromwich Albion v Blackburn Rovers – Sky Bet Championship – The Hawthorns
(Image credit: Tim Goode)

West Brom boss Steve Bruce warned his players that their second-half performance in the 2-0 defeat at Luton was unacceptable.

After a goalless first period, the Hatters claimed all three points courtesy of efforts from Cameron Jerome and Allan Campbell, stretching the Baggies’ winless run to five games.

A clearly annoyed Bruce said: “Our reaction to conceding the first goal was not enough. To say I’m disappointed with it is an understatement.

“I can only apologise to the people who follow us because as soon as we went a goal behind we didn’t do anything at all to redeem it.

“First half I was probably as pleased as I have been in the three games I’ve been here.

“There were one or two opportunities where we must score to give everybody a lift, but the second half was not acceptable.

“In the second half we didn’t deal well enough with the ball to create chances.

“Andy’s (Andy Carroll) header in the last minute was about as good as we got, and that was disappointing.

“The reason I’ve come in is to work with good players, but it’s all very well being a good player on paper – you’ve got to go and show it on the pitch.

“Now’s the time for us to battle a bit. West Brom were playing in the Premier League last year but that doesn’t stand for anything when you come to Luton Town, who are fighting away in the Championship and making a fist of it.

“You’ve got to have a bit more about you than we did today.

“I won’t accept that second half from a team of mine and we have to try and instil that into them.

“We’ll soon see if we get a reaction from the players as we have to do more.”

Jerome opened the scoring with a powerful header from Kal Naismith’s pinpoint free-kick in the 55th minute.

The Hatters then doubled their lead with six minutes to go when Campbell fired home from 25 yards.

Luton boss Nathan Jones said: “Three points, a clean sheet, they’ve hit the bar twice, but I wouldn’t say we rode our luck as we hit the post and missed a glorious chance in the first half.

“We gifted them a little bit first half but then apart from that, I thought we were excellent.

“We limited them to very little, especially second half, and we know we’re a difficult side to play against here.

“If we can really just settle down and get that head of steam then we can create something and I thought we did and I’m really happy with both goals.

“They (West Brom) have normally been 4-3-3 but they changed to a back five, that’s their prerogative.

“We concentrate now on us and what we did and what we do in possession and out of possession, how we press, so we concentrate on us really.”

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