Brentford manager Thomas Frank vented his displeasure with what has usually been his side’s strength after ‘two soft goals’ heaped further pressure on their ailing chase for the Championship’s automatic promotion places.
The Bees came into encounter struggling for rhythm after a run of three successive draws.
A trip to Kenilworth Road to face bottom side Luton Town seemed like the perfect opportunity to find their groove, but an own goal from Shandon Baptiste and a Martin Cranie goal on the stroke of half-time left Brentford with too high of a mountain to climb in the second half.
Frank’s side came into the clash with the league’s best defensive record having conceded just 29 goals, which made the encounter all the more frustrating for Frank given the nature of the two goals they conceded.
“People are disappointed, after a performance where there was a lot of effort, a lot of willpower, but not enough quality,” said Frank.
“Throughout the game we just needed to keep going and keep creating opportunities and keep locking them in which we did very well against Blackburn.
“I don’t think we managed to get enough tempo into the game, Luton did what they could do and did well to get in front and do everything they could to break the rhythm of the game.
“We concede two soft goals on two set-pieces when we’ve improved massively compared to last year, but when we are conceding two soft goals and you need to again turn a game around.
“We couldn’t do that today, so we only need to look at ourselves and stop conceding these soft goals, as we have the best defensive record, but we couldn’t find enough quality.”
Victory for the Hatters lifted them off the foot of the table, with their third victory in four games breathing new life into their quest to stave off relegation.
Luton boss Graeme Jones was understandably ecstatic with his team’s performance, and revealed how a change of tactics was necessary to compete with their promotion-chasing opposition.
“The level of performance has been there for a good time, but we had to win in a different way tonight,” Jones said.
“We couldn’t take Brentford on and try and beat them, we had probably too many injuries.
“Off the ball I thought we were absolutely outstanding, set-pieces were important, character of the players, energy and the players need to take all the credit, to a man, they were exceptional.
“Brentford are an outstanding football team, that was a high level game tonight in terms of off the ball, tactical performance from us.
“If they’d won tonight they’d have gone third in the league and we won the game with our character, our off-the-ball press and intelligence, set-pieces and it was a different way of winning for us.
“Because I’d still prefer to take people on with certain players if they are fit and we had to find a different way tonight and that was so satisfying.”