Hatters boss believes goals against have harmed play-off hopes

Hatters contemplate defeat at Southend last week

Hatters contemplate defeat at Southend last week

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Hatters boss John Still didn’t feel it was a lack of goals scored that has scuppered their promotion hopes this season, more the club’s recent issues defensively.

Towh have netted 52 goals this term, only one less than seventh-placed Plymouth Argyle, but conceding 44, compared to the Greens’ total of 37 is likely to prove costly going into the final game of the campaign.

“The disappointment for us is when we went through that patch when we were missing some defenders, we conceded too many.”

John Still

Needing an eight goal swing in their favour, Still said: “Someone said the other day, would we have thought we should have scored more goals?

“You go, ‘yes’, but if you look, there haven’t been too many goals scored.

“The top teams have scored about 60, I think Plymouth who we’re battling, have only scored around what we’ve scored.

“So could we have got more goals? I would say so, but I don’t think there’s been great scorers in the league anyway.

“The disappointment for us is when we went through that patch when we were missing some defenders, we conceded too many.

“I have a big focus on the other end of the pitch. We had a great run and then the run where we were conceding goals, that’s been a contributory factor to us getting to this stage of the season believing that if we win Saturday our goal difference is good enough as we haven’t conceded that many, but it’s not so now.”

Although disappointed by his side’s defence that has conceded 25 goals since the turn of the year, Still felt that a number of injuries to his side creative players, had also harmed their chances of a top seven finish.

He added: “Our creators, under most circumstances that we have at the club would be (Pelly) Ruddock, (Alex) Lawless, (Luke) Guttridge.

“Well Ruddock’s hardly played, Lawless hasn’t played much and Gutts hasn’t played as many games as we’d like. So there’s a reason why we maybe haven’t scored as many as we’d like.

“Benno’s (Paul Benson) another big supplier of goals and he’s not played as many games as we would like.

“I believe under normal circumstances we would have been in that top group. Would we have been in the top three? I don’t know, but looking back we’d have been certainly in that top group.”