Luton boss Graeme Jones has told his players to “man up and get on with it” after their 7-0 rout at Brentford.
A Josh Dasilva hat-trick and goals from Bryan Mbeumo, Ollie Watkins, Mathias Jensen and Said Benrahma sealed the win, which was two short of the Bees’ record 9-0 haul against Wrexham more than half a century ago.
“I was so embarrassed with that performance. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. We were fragile defensively and attacked with no intensity. We just collapsed and I have told the players that,” said Jones.
“I feel sorry for our supporters. They travelled in numbers and I need to apologise for that performance. But the boys have asked me to say that they will take responsibility for the performance today, which was big of them.”
Luton’s woes were compounded when they lost Izzy Brown to a torn hamstring and Brendan Galloway to a serious knee injury just after the break.
“The score aside, it was a very bad day at the office. I was as disgusted with the performance as the players are, but now we have to do something about it,” said Jones.
“I’ve had this before. When I was at Wigan we lost 9-1 at Tottenham and went on to win the next game. We have to make sure this is never repeated again. They have to man up and get on with it, they have to take responsibility for their performance.”
Jones was baffled by the scoreline after picking the same 11 players who did so well against Charlton.
He said: “It was the same side with the same tactics in the last three games and we got beat 7-0. Four of the goals came from the left-hand side today so we will be looking at that.
“We seem to be taking two steps forward and 10 steps back. But we’re a small club in a big league so we will take a few on the chin, dust ourselves down and come back.”
Bees head coach Thomas Frank said the emphatic win was proof that his players are “starting to click”, describing it as a magical Griffin Park moment.
“That first half was one of the best first halves in many years, not just because it was 5-0 but because we created lots of chances, scored goals and gave nothing away,” he said.
“In the second half I was happy that even at five, six and seven we were still showing concentration and work rate to keep the clean sheet. That is the mark of a top, top team.
“It’s not easy when the game is dead very early like it was, but we restricted them to one shot on goal and I think we were very professional in the second half.”
Frank hailed the steep learning and fitness curve of Bees’ hat-trick hero Dasilva.
“He knew he had to work on the defensive side of his game,” said the Dane. “He’s done that and is the fittest he’s ever been, and we’re now seeing the player he can be.
“I was delighted for him but I was also very proud that when we got the late penalty, Said, who usually takes them, ran to grab the ball and passed it over to Josh to get his hat-trick.”
Frank added: “Last season we knew we were conceding too many goals and we have addressed that, but now I have a nice dilemma when Julian Jeanvier finishes his suspension. We have 22 points from 11 games and that is good but we have to try to maintain it.”