UPDATED: ‘Focal point’ is on the attack for Hatters ahead of Mariners visit

Kidderminster Harriers v Luton Town. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 36.
Kidderminster Harriers v Luton Town. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 36.

Town chief John Still is hoping his team are finally starting to come together offensively ahead of the visit of Grimsby Town on Saturday, writes Mark Wood.

The Hatters have struggled in front of goal so far this season with only five goals in six games.

However, Still believes injuries have played their part, with target man Jon Shaw having been playing through a hernia injury and promising youngster Alex Wall struggling with a virus.

And the signing of experienced striker Paul Benson on loan may well provide the Hatters with the ‘focal point’ they have been lacking.

Still said: “We’ve done a lot of work, if I’m honest, in that area. But for various reasons it hasn’t quite been as we would like it.

“And without trying to make this sound like an excuse, it is an excuse if that makes sense.

“Because Jon Shaw’s not been quite 100 per cent fit and that’s been a blow.

“And Alex Wall hasn’t been able to be included and that’s been a blow that we haven’t really had a focal point to play off properly.

“And I do like to have what I would call a focal point to play with and we haven’t really had that at it’s best.”

And while Still admitted that it wouldn’t necessarily have improved Town’s results, he does believe it would have helped them to keep possession better.

He continued: “That’s not to say that if we had of had we would have played any better.

“But I think it would have helped our ball retention a little bit better in the final third, which may have helped.

“I think that with Paul coming, Alex Wall getting fitter, not ready to start, but getting fitter and training regularly now, it’s something that hopefully will keep improving.”

All of Town’s strikers offer different options for Still and Luton have had to adapt accordingly.

He continued: “One of the problems that you get is you can do different sorts of work with different types of players.

“When Jon’s in the team, we can drop more balls in to Jon because aerially he’s a threat.

“We can drop the ball in knowing if it’s not quite right we can get a good challenge on the ball.

“Whereas if Jon’s not playing we’ve had to go into Mark Cullen or Andre (Gray) on their own and it’s a different type of pass.

“To be fair it even sounds like an excuse to me! I’m sitting here and thinking we should be able to pass it into him and you’re probably right, but when the season’s starting and there’s lots of things you’re doing, you do sometimes emphasise on the team that’s playing Saturday rather than in general.”

Having lost 1-0 at Southport on the opening day of the season, Town’s performances have gradually improved, culminating with Saturday’s fine 2-0 win at Kidderminster Harriers.

Still added: “We played well. I thought that the last three games we’ve acquitted ourselves really well. I think we’ve been solid all season defensively. I thought we posed more a of threat going forward on Saturday. But I don’t think we’re at a level where I believe we can be.

“And as I said on Saturday I felt that a couple of weeks ago, the Macclesfield game, Salisbury game we weren’t the worst team. And in the same respect I don’t think we’re the best team.

“I don’t think we were the best team then and I don’t think we’re the worst team now.

“I think that we’re just getting ourselves going into the season and results and performances are reasonable and that’s where I think we are at the moment.

“I think that the performances heave steadily improved.”