Home comforts must improve if play-offs are a realistic aim for Luton

A swift turnaround in home form is going to be absolutely crucial if Luton are going to give themselves any chance at all of figuring in the end of season play-offs this term.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 25th January 2016, 1:26 pm
Updated Monday, 25th January 2016, 2:04 pm
On the up: Hatters have made a fine start under Nathan Jones' stewardship
On the up: Hatters have made a fine start under Nathan Jones' stewardship

The Hatters are currently 15th in the League Two table, some eight points away from the top seven with 19 games to go.

Over the last five seasons, an average of 70 points has been the benchmark to reach the play-offs, so with Luton now on 34 after winning 2-0 at Mansfield on Saturday, they will need to double the tally picked up from their opening 27 games, and some, in which to do so.

Looking at the fixtures though, then it’s going to be at Kenilworth Road where Luton have the best chance of achieving this, although that in itself won’t be easy, with Hatters possessing the fourth worst home record in the division, bettering only Dagenham, Newport and York.

With Notts County visiting Kenilworth Road this weekend, Hatters then entertain Yeovil, Hartlepool, Morecambe, Crawley, Dagenham & Redbridge, Stevenage, Accrington, Newport and finish up against Exeter.

Away from home, the fixtures appear, on paper, much tougher, as Hatters have to go to all the top three, in Northampton, Plymouth and Oxford, while also visiting Wycombe, Carlisle and Leyton Orient too.

However, home comforts have been in short supply for Hatters’ faithful this term, with a paltry three wins garnered from 13 games, drawing four and losing six.

Optimism took a shot in the arm though after the composure in which Luton fans saw their team dispatch Mansfield at the weekend, with minds being allowed to wonder what if, should the improvement under new boss Nathan Jones continue.

Unsurprisingly, there was a hefty dose of realism from the recently appointed Town chief, who has led his side to four points from two games so far, as when asked about the play-offs, he said: “Lets not get carried away, we’re two games into it.

“We have a goal, we know within ourselves what we’re looking to achieve this season, so lets not get carried away.

“We can build on that, we’ve had two games, got four points, two good performances, two solid performances, but we still have to get better and we will I think.”

It was a view echoed by goalscoring winger Paddy McCourt too who added: “We’ve a lot to do, we’re nowhere near it yet, eight points in this league is a long way to go.

“We need to put a good string of wins together, but performance first and foremost. If we get six, seven games to go and we’re in with a shot then we’ll give it a good bash.”

Hatters’ home games: Notts County, Yeovil Town, Hartlepool, Morecambe, Crawley Town, Dagenham & Redbridge, Stevenage, Accrington Stanley, Newport County, Exeter City.

Hatters’ away games: Wycombe Wanderers, AFC Wimbledon, York City, Leyton Orient, Plymouth Argyle, Barnet, Oxford United, Carlisle United, Northampton Town.