Clean sheets a mark of pride for Sheehan

Like a striker counting his goals, defender Alan Sheehan was quick to point out exactly how many clean sheets Hatters have to their name after racking up another in their 5-0 FA Cup win at Gateshead on Saturday.

Alan Sheehan brings the ball out of defence against Gateshead
Alan Sheehan brings the ball out of defence against Gateshead

Although the shut out had been achieved with an element of good fortune against the National League side who struck the bar and the post during the second period, Town’s back-line wasn’t breached yet again.

Speaking before the Hatters made it 12 for the season against West Ham United U21s on Tuesday night, Sheehan said: “That’s eleven, two in the cup and nine in the league, it’s serious.

“We’ve had quite a settled back four throughout the season with (Jack) Stacey, and (Dan) Potts, myself and Scotty (Cuthbert) and Mully (Johnny Mullins) has come in the last few games, Stechy (Marek Stech) too and Glen (Rea) just in front.

“So I suppose it’s good that it’s been a very settled back five or six, I think we’re looking quite strong at the moment and long may it continue.

“It’s great going, we have our goals every month and we know exactly how many we need and what we need.

“I think we’re the second best defence behind Coventry in the league and we’re looking strong all over at the moment.”

Despite their solidity, there can be no accusation that Luton are anywhere near being a defensive side either, as they have netted 17 times in four games, and are the top scorers in the league by some margin.

Sheehan continued: “We’re happy because we are a very attacking team.

“Sometimes we were two v two (against Gateshead), which we’re not overly happy about but I suppose we are so attacking you’ve got to take that with a pinch at times.

“The second half display, we played a lot of football out from the back to the midfield.

“It wasn’t just hoof-ball like a lot of teams in our division, hoof-ball up and play off, we like to play the right way, so we’re happy with it.”

Sheehan has been partnered by Mullins for the last three games after Scott Cuthbert picked up a groin injury.

The pair appear to have formed an immediate understanding, as Sheehan said: “He’s done great, done excellent.

“He’s come in, me and Mully hadn’t played together this season until that and now that’s three games, two clean sheets, only one goal against Crewe, but apart from that, we’ve been very, very solid.

“I’m delighted for him, he’s another one who’s had to be patient, he’s come in and done excellent.

“Scotty is our captain, he’s a huge loss because he was playing brilliant football as well.

“But it just goes to show the competition all throughout the squad that when you come in, you have to hit the ground running and get up to the standards of the rest of the team, because everybody’s fighting for the same team and it’s a brilliant feeling throughout the club at the moment.”

In Cuthbert’s absence, Sheehan has taken over the captain’s armband, as he added: “I’ll wear it when Scott’s out, I don’t know who was wearing it before me, but it was really baggy around the bicep, so I think Jared will get me in the gym!

“But I’m delighted to captain this club, it’s a great honour. Scott’s out for a few more weeks so I’m happy to do the job and then we’ll go from there.”