Hatters have been practising their penalties ahead of tomorrow (Tuesday) night’s FA Cup first round replay at Nuneaton Town, writes Mark Wood.
Town have twice played Boro at home this season and both encounters have been tight affairs, with boss Paul Buckle expecting more of the same at Liberty Way.
Two goals from Alex Lawless in the last five minutes gave Luton a late victory in the league encounter at Kenilworth Road, while Nuneaton held out for a goalless draw in the initial tie.
And Buckle admitted his side are prepared for every eventuality, which made the two goals they conceded in Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat to Dartford all the harder to take.
He said: “Yes we have (practised penalties). We really pride ourselves on being organised, that’s why Saturday the two set-plays were so disappointing for all of us because we had really brushed up on our area of that game.
“We’ve been so strong and they weren’t even good deliveries. With all due respect they weren’t good deliveries, we just didn’t pay enough attention to the situation in terms of coming back in and spotting the danger and thinking actually you know, we could be undone by this.
“Our body language wasn’t how it should be when the opposition get a set-play and we’ve looked at that and the players have accepted it and they’re going to put it right.
“We know that set-plays are a huge part of the game. You saw yesterday in the Premiership and Saturday in the Premiership, for all the good play and all the millions of pounds on the pitch you have to defend set-plays.
“If we can get that back up and running I’m more than sure we can go on another good run.”
Buckle is once again expecting Boro to be hard to break down and was unsure if they might try to take the game to a penalty shoot-out.
“Hopefully they will try and win the game in normal time. Who knows,” he said:
“Very rarely do I try and work out what is in another manager’s mind.
“I just try and concentrate on what we’re good at and this season we’ve done so many things right.
“When we are on top of our game we are a real handful.
“I think they’ll be hard to break down again. I think that will be the case.
“We’re the away side, our away form has been very good although we got beat up at Hereford we thoroughly deserved to win that game in my opinion.
“We’ve had the one off day which was Saturday, which wasn’t nice and we are desperate to get back on track.
“We’ve won one and drawn one and we will be looking to maintain that unbeaten record against them.
“They’ve been a tough nut to crack so to speak, but they had a disappointing result on Saturday as we did so it’s all to play for.
“Both teams will have that advantage of knowing systems and knowing personnel. That will be an advantage for them and an advantage for us.”
The Town chief though was determined to progress in the competition, with a home tie against Blue Square Bet South side Dorchester the victory carrot.
“It’s a massive game for us tomorrow night, as it is for Nuneaton, so the focus is as normal on the next game,” Buckle said.
“It means as much as it meant against Cambridge. We showed our desire against Cambridge away, we had a great away performance.
“We’ve then drawn at home and now it’s about going away and trying to have that strong mentality to go and win the game.
“In terms of an FA Cup run, if we want one we have to win the game.
“If we win the game we are on a run and if we don’t we’re out and we move to the league.
“So we know exactly where we are with it. Because it’s the next game it’s the most important game to us.
“When I was asked that question before Cambridge you got the same answer. We will be going all out to win it, we done it there and we got the draw at home and we go all out to win up at Nuneaton.”
But he vowed the Hatters would not change their mentality which has served them well on their travels this term.
Buckle added: “We won’t change at all from what we’ve been doing away from home.
“You look at our record so far this season, we are still in the FA Cup, four points off the top of the league and we’re going all right.
“It’s very important in my job when you suffer a disappointment like we did on Saturday, you don’t change too much.”