Saturday’s topsy-turvy victory over FC Halifax Town may have caught up with emotionally drained Luton in the 3-3 midweek draw at Aldershot according to manager John Still, writes Mark Wood.
Twice the Hatters surrendered the lead against the Shots on Tuesday night before netting a late equaliser from the spot to earn a share of the spoils.
Individual errors proved to be Town’s achilles heel on the night and Still believes that Saturday’s comeback from 3-1 down to triumph 4-3 may have caught up with his side.
He said: “It was a tough game. I think that obviously in reflecting I think that the game on Saturday emotionally took quite a bit out of us.
“It was a funny old game, it was battling back, battling back and whether or not that had any part to play on Tuesday I don’t know.
“I said at the time we were unconvincing for me, we scored three goals away from home which should be enough to win.”
Competitive Aldershot had evidently done their homework on the Hatters and changed their shape accordingly.
Still admitted Town should take it as a ‘compliment’, but knew they would be ultra competitive following their defeat to Grimsby Town.
He said: “We were all a bit surprised the other night that Aldershot changed to cater for us.
“They didn’t change to cater for Grimsby, but maybe they should have done because they got beat.
“And I knew straight after the game against Grimsby (it would be tough). I know the management team very, very well, and I know some of Aldershot’s players. And I’d have wished that they’d beat Grimsby, because I knew that they’d all be smarting.
“And there’s a lot of people there that know me, didn’t want to lose to me. Not in a nasty way, because I’m close to them.
“I’ve got a couple of people that play for Aldershot that I’m quite close to.
“The assistant manager of Aldershot is a great fiend of mine, the manager is someone I’ve known for a long time and I have a great association with their assistant manager and I knew... They changed their system slightly to play against us which is a compliment.”
Having been watertight at the back earlier in the season Luton have now shipped six goals in two games.
But Still is adamant he won’t be make any kneejerk changes as Town have already kept eight clean sheets this season.
He said: “It’s hard to be critical of defenders that have been fantastic this season, so I think that’s sometimes how games go.
“But we showed enough to battle back which is a great quality that we have now. If we’re behind it’s never over.
“I analysed like I do all of the goals and I analysed the goals from Saturday and Tuesday, and it was amazing what I saw.
“I don’t think that we had a problem Saturday collectively as a unit, and I don’t think we had a problem collectively on Tuesday, I think we’ve had individuals that have made errors.
“You can’t coach individual errors. If I mishead a ball, miskick a ball, miscontrol a ball, foul in a bad area, they’re things you can go out there and spend all day doing them and you’ll do it right.
“And you come to Saturday and if you underhit a backpass back to your goalkeeper then that’s an individual error and there’s nothing you can do.
“And what I picked up were individual errors from players that I know are consistently good.
“So I think it’s an area that we have to remind people about, sometimes individual errors can be concentration.
“It’s just to remind people really how well they’ve done and how well they need to do.
“That’s how I’ve looked at it, in the same way that when we weren’t scoring goals, I think I said at the time, I know that we have people that can score goals.
“And all we’ve got to do is keep that going, keep supplying them, keep the supply right, and if we keep the supply right we have people that can score goals.
“And at the moment that’s what we’re doing, we’re scoring bundles of goals. We’re very prolific if I’m being honest at the moment, and just making a couple of errors defensively that we’re being punished for.
“On another day sometimes you don’t get punished for them. So I think because we’ve won a game, and drawn a game, and taken four points from two games, it was a good time to be punished for them if you like, because we’ve got something from the games.
“And as along as we learn about the concentration levels of the individual then it will be OK.”
Luton boast plenty of experience in their back four with the likes of captain Ronnie Henry, crowd favourite Steve McNulty and left-back Scott Griffiths.
And while Still is sure they will be aware when they make an error he knows that young centre-half Alex Lacey may need more guidance and is prepared to be patient with him.
Still added: “They do know. I think obviously the exception to that is Alex Lacey and one thing I accept is he will make mistakes when he’s learning because we all do.
“The others with him are all experienced players and they’ll help him through with that.
“I accept that he’s going to make mistakes without question. And it’s probably a bit rarer that one of the others makes a glaring mistake.
“I think we started the season and I thought definitely Scotty (Griffiths) was slightly off it.
“But gradually he’s come through and he’s looking a strong player for us now.
“And he had his little bit of a difficult time early on, but his mates around him helped him out a little bit.
“When he wasn’t quite at his best we had the other three all doing their job and helping him out.
“I think the last two games there have been a couple or maybe three people not quite on it, and it’s a bit more difficult for one to help three, it’s easier for three to help one.
“I think when an experienced person makes a mistake he knows straight away and when an inexperienced player makes a mistake he has to be guided a bit by other people because sometimes they’re decision-making, a wrong decision as opposed to a right decision.
“And sometimes you’ve got to make a wrong decision to find out what the right decision is if that make sense, so I’m quite comfortable with that.”