Town duo fired up by Cobblers guard of honour

Hatters midfielder Olly Lee

Hatters midfielder Olly Lee

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Hatters midfielder Olly Lee admitted that having to give champions Northampton Town a guard of honour at Sixfields has increased his desire to win promotion next term.

Luton lined up to applaud their hosts on to the field last weekend, before they were well beaten on the day, falling to a 2-0 defeat.

“Obviously you pay your respect and we’re pleased for Northampton, but we want that to be us next season, that’s the aim.”

Olly Lee

On having to witness the celebrations afterwards too, Lee said: “Seeing it has put a lot of hunger in all our bellies.

“It wasn’t nice giving the guard of honour, obviously you pay your respect and we’re pleased for Northampton, but we want that to be us next season, that’s the aim.”

It was the same for midfield partner Jonathan Smith who had been recalled to the side, as he said: “Fair play to Northampton. They’ve been the best side this season and deserved to win the league.

“We’ll hope to emulate that next season, we’ve got a lot of work to do but that will be the aim.”

On why Town have fallen so far short this term, Lee continued: “It was always the case of we get close, and then we fall away. We’ve done it on multiple occasions where we win four in a row and then lose a couple.

“So we just need to be consistent throughout the whole season.

“We’ve got enough quality in the changing room to kick us on and get us promoted next season.”

Smith believes much more is needed from the players on the pitch too, as he said: “It’s hard work, like you saw with Northampton, they’ve got 11 players working hard and that’s what is needed.

“You can play as much football as you want, but you need 11 warriors to be up for the battle every week.”

Smith was frustrated with the manner at which his side were beaten at the weekend, particularly the ease they went behind too, continuing: “I’m really disappointed, I want to win every game and unfortunately our first half performance killed us.

“Especially when the staff were laying into us about them being such a danger off set-pieces, it’s ultra disappointing as it wasn’t a surprise.”

Hatters finish off their season at home to Exeter City this weekend and Smith wants to finally give the home fans something to cheer after a frustrating term at Kenilworth Road. He added: “Ever since I’ve been here, I’ve always said to people about the home record at Luton, as I’d hardly lost a game in about three years at home.

“This season has been way off it. If we could have just turned a few of those results at home then we’d have been in with a chance of the play-offs, but our home form has definitely let us down.”