Caretaker manager Alan Neilson admitted he’d heard nothing new about the Hatters appointing a new manager at today’s press conference, writes Mark Wood.
Dagenham & Redbridge boss John Still has recently emerged as the bookies’ favourite, while former England U21, Brighton, Leicester and Hull boss Peter Taylor has also been linked with the role.
Neilson said: “I haven’t spoken to Gary (Sweet). I think Gary’s been very busy doing his thing and I’m very busy doing my thing as I keep on saying.
“I’m the same as you. You pick up the paper this morning and you read in the newspaper that John Still’s name is mentioned.
“I think so many names have been mentioned, until it’s definitely confirmed I think Gary Sweet and the board will come out with it.”
Daggers boss Still is 1/10 favourite, while ex-Town star Gary Waddock is at 7/1, Taylor is 12/1, Alan Curbishley, Graham Westley, Phil Brown and Stephen Robinson all at 33/1 and Chris Wilder is 50/1.
Twice before in the last few years Neilson has taken temporary charge following the departures of Gary Brabin and Mick Harford and he admitted there is probably more pressure this time around with Luton so far adrift of the play-offs.
He said: “I don’t think it has differed really, but I think there’s probably more pressure this time because of the situation we are in.
“We are quite a little bit away off the play-offs, but if you look at the players we’ve got we can still get in there.
“I kept saying it before, we’ve got 16 games left. But we’ve just got to look at the next game, get the three points, get some confidence up.
“We know once we can get one win, we can get more wins and get on a roll.
“We’ve got three away games on the trot now. Braintree away, then we’ve got Stockport away and then next Tuesday we’ve got Nuneaton away.
“So we’ve got to pick points up. We’ve got three games and we need to get a lot of points on the board to push the teams above us.”
Ironically around this time last year the Hatters were in almost exactly the same predicament going into their away game at Braintree.
Departing boss Paul Buckle had just been appointed to the role prior to the game as he took a watching brief in the stands, and the same situation could again happen at Cressing Road.
Neilson said: “I think the only difference is it’s a Tuesday night rather than a Saturday! That’s the only change.
“Last year we did know (who the new manager was) because we knew it was Paul Buckle before the game. We actually knew before.
“So he was there. He actually came on a Friday, had a chat with me, let us take the team and he just watched us.
“We had a big meeting after the game back at the hotel and spoke to the players and we came in the following Sunday last year because we played Hayes & Yeading on the bank holiday Monday.”
And having been embarrassed 3-1 by the Iron last year, Neilson is determined it won’t be the same again this time around.
He added: “I’m sure the result’s going to be a lot different from last season when they rolled us over.
“We didn’t stand up to them and they beat us 3-1. Sloppy goals as well the first one Tyles (Mark Tyler), the second one George Pilkington’s man and we gave them a penalty at the end there.
“And that was a real, real disappointing performance on a poor pitch. We’ve showed them now, this is how the pitch is going to be, it’s going to be poor.
“It’s going to be a battle, we’ve got to be nice, physically strong and really attack them.”
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Weather for Luton
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North west