No nonsense Hatters chief Paul Buckle is expecting a response from his side for tonight’s game against Nuneaton Town in the FA Cup following Saturday’s massively disappointing 2-0 home league defeat to Dartford, writes Mark Wood.
Town are still only four points off the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier and Buckle will not be making any kneejerk reactions on the back of that defeat.
Speaking at Monday’s press conference, he said: “It’s about trying to get 11 on the field tomorrow night up and at it and up to the high performance levels that we’ve shown for the majority of the season.
“For me whoever I pick, they’ve been really honest in the last couple of days after being beaten.
“They’re as desperate as I am to put it right because it was so unlike us on Saturday.
“We couldn’t find that tempo and rhythm to our game, the second half we did.
“The most pleasing thing for me is even when we are not playing at our very best, and we were certainly a long way from it on Saturday, we still seem to create a number of chances, had the majority of possession and corners.
“There’s a lot still for us to be positive about, you won’t find me being negative on the back of one defeat.
“The group doesn’t change. They’re the same players, the same people that two weeks ago we were talking about how well we’re doing and how strong we’re looking and it’s still the same.
“It’s just confidence in football, it’s about re-focusing. A big part of my job is to keeping dusting yourself down.
“Managers and coaches you win games and you lose games, and when you lose games it leaves a nasty taste in your mouth and it hurts.
“But what you have to do is keep believing, you keep having to lift the players and push the players and tell them how good they are and show them stuff and that’s what we’ve been doing.”
Town have been measured and analytical in their response to Saturday’s defeat and Buckle believes that gives his side a every chance of returning to winning ways.
He said: “It’s such a positive environment we’ve created here, we don’t dwell on a defeat too long.
“We get to the point quickly and the players trust me and the staff that we can analyse it.
“We know why, they’re honest boys, they know what we done wrong.
“Like I said after the game, Dartford never had to do a lot to beat Luton on Saturday, we beat ourselves.
“We know that, and that’s the disappointing thing.
“It’s hugely disappointing for us, it’s massive, but disappointment is a big part of the game. It’s how you deal with it and we deal with it in the right way, the honest way.
“We don’t slag each other off, we just tell the truth.
“When you do that you give yourself an excellent chance of going back on a run.”
Once again Buckle felt the visiting team had lifted their performance immeasurably, but is concentrated on defeating Boro.
He said: “Every game Luton play is a big game.
“It’s obvious now that teams raise their game against Luton every game. It’s a huge game.
“It’s a huge game for us, we don’t like losing and we want to go through in the FA Cup tomorrow night.
“It’s not about anything else other than putting on a really good performance. If you train badly you should have a damned good look at yourself.
“And it’s no different tomorrow night. We pride ourselves on performance levels. We believe if our performance levels are high we’ll win games.
“We only got those performance levels somewhere near it second half and it wasn’t enough to get back in the game on Saturday.
“If we get them back up to the levels we saw at Hereford and before that these games will take care of themselves.”
Victory would earn the Hatters a home tie against mid-table Blue Square Bet South side Dorchester in the second round, who Town were yesterday drawn at in the FA Trophy.
But Buckle refused to get ahead of himself, adding: “It would be very wrong of me to talk about rounds beyond this one. We’ve got enough on our plate with an away tie.
“They’ve earnt the right to get a replay Nuneaton and they’ve got the reward of home advantage now and they’ll be looking to take it.
“They’ve had another poor result for them at the weekend like we have. So both teams will be looking to bounce back which should hopefully make for a very good game.”