“I won’t stand for that type of performance.”
That was the message from Luton Town manager Paul Buckle following their 2-2 draw with Gateshead on the first day of the new Conference season.
The Hatters had found themselves facing a two goal deficit at half time but managed to fight back with strikes from Stuart Fleetwood and substitute Jon Shaw to earn a point.
Speaking after the game Buckle said: “We were hoping for all three points but it didn’t happen.
“We were nowhere near the levels we were showing in pre-season and the levels I expect, and we’ve paid the price and made life very difficult for ourselves.
“The problem was that we were keeping the ball in total control but didn’t deliver crosses in the final third.
“We were really reluctant to do that and seemed to want to find a really safe easy route to goal and score the perfect goal. It doesn’t happen like that.
“You can’t always get what you want but the problem with us today was we took too long with things and not only that, the set play was just typical of last season and what I saw when I first came to the club – I won’t put up with that type of performance.
“At half time the staff and I had a long chat because it wasn’t good enough, and we made the right changes to get ourselves out of a hole.”
Asked whether Jon Shaw should have started the game, Buckle said: “I signed Shaw to play, but he’s only played 45 minutes of football in pre-season.
“Fleetwood and Gray have been doing well, so there has been no reason to rush Jon back.
“But we were so lacklustre and lacked any purpose on the pitch that I had to make the change.”
Despite the poor first half, the manager said he was pleased with the spirit shown in the second.
He said: “This has been an eye opener for me, but the pleasing thing is that we pulled it back.
“It would have been easy to go under, but we showed fight and spirit.
“I made the right changes and the lads responded and once the first goal went in the place shook and the atmosphere changed.”
With little respite between now and the away game at Kidderminster on Tuesday, Buckle said there was still time to put things right.
“We will train on Monday, we can’t do loads but I can hammer home the importance of giving away free headers from corners and conceding soft goals."
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