Hayrettin rues Town’s misfortune in Crawley defeat

Hakan Hayrettin
Hakan Hayrettin

Hatters first team coach Hakan Hayrettin rued his side’s bad luck in front of goal as they were knocked out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Tuesday evening.

League One Crawley Town emerged 1-0 winners, with Luton hitting the bar twice through Charlie Walker and Luke Guttridge, while Guttridge also shaved the post in the first half.

Hayrettin said: “It was a close game, we acquitted ourselves very well, had a few good chances.

“It was there for the crowd to see how well we played. It was a game that one goal could have won it and they got it.

“I thought we were very, very unfortunate not to get something out the game. To press them the way we did and in the manner in which we did, to try and get a goal back was good play by us.

“We worked their keeper very well, hit the post three times, which was unfortunate for us.

“Considering they’re a league higher, we didn’t look out of place, considering they’re a league higher, we should have got something out of the game and considering they’re a league higher, I thought we were the better team.

“Sometimes in football this happens, you’ve got to pick yourselves up, dust yourselves down and go again.”

One of the main plus points for Hayrettin was the number of players who gained valuable match time with the likes of Paul Benson, Alex Lawless, Jonathan Smith and Nathan Doyle all featuring.

He continued: “Most importantly for us a lot of people got minutes under their belt.

“It was good to see Lawless on the pitch again. He’s a good pro, one of the elder statesmen in the squad, he’s got lots of ability and we want him back fighting for a place in the team.

“He gave a good performance, he’s a clever player, he knows when and how and where to do it, which is very important and it was good to get him back on the pitch.

“It’s about juggling all the balls in the right areas. Benson played a good 70 minutes against Stevenage and a good 90, so that’s minutes under his belt as he’s been out a little while.

“Gutts has been out for a little while, he got 90 minutes, Smudge (Jonathan Smith) has come back from a big injury and got more minutes.”

Both Alex Wall and Elliot Justham were given starts too as Hayrettin said: “Alex Wall is an unpredictable player, we know what he can do as we see him every day.

“He had one effort in the first half and he worked very, very hard. His game has improved and his all round performances have improved, so he’s done well.

“Elliot’s now probably thinking when am I going to get my chance? He got his chance and I think he did okay. Obviously he knows he’s got one of the best goalkeepers in the league in front of him, so he’s going to have to keep working hard and see where it takes him.”

Midfielder Matt Robinson also impressed in his 45 minutes on the pitch as Hayrettin added: “We’ve gone on a little run since he’s been out of the team. He’s got his head down, worked hard and has to continue working hard.

“With every opposition that we play, the manager will pick a team to go and win that particular game, so Robbo’s got to push on now, work hard in training, keep his head down and do the right things that got him in the team and get back in the team.”