Fleetwood shoulders blame after Rovers miss

STRIKER Stuart Fleetwood shouldered a large portion of the blame for Town’s 3-0 defeat against Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday night, writes Mike Simmonds.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 22nd March 2012, 9:53 am

With 15 minutes on the clock, the forward charged down Eddie Oshodi’s attempted clearance and burst clean through.

Having knocked in a hatful of goals at the New Lawn when a Rovers player, many in the ground expected the net to bulge once more, but keeper Sam Russell saved with his legs and the ball looped agonisingly over the bar.

Fleetwood said: “It would have been a lot different had I put my chance away. I’m really disappointed in myself for that. That’s a bread and butter chance for me.

“He’s (Russell) gone the other way and I’ve managed to put it past him, but its nicked his toe and has somehow gone over the bar, nine times out of 10 I put them away.”

Manager Gary Brabin felt the miss was also the turning point as it seemed to sap his side of all their confidence.

He continued: “We had a great opportunity when Fleets was clean through. Their keeper’s saved it and it was as if everyone’s head has gone down and they’ve given up from that moment.

“It was so evident that it just knocked the stuffing out of us and we never picked ourselves up from that.”

The feeling was also held by half time substitute Andre Boucaud as he said: “There was an early chance in the first half which I thought we should have taken, but we didn’t.

“Our heads went down from there and I think our heads shouldn’t go down as we can create a lot more chances.”

Fleetwood, who is Town’s leading scorer with 11 goals this season, didn’t think there was a lack of confidence among the strikers though, despite Luton netting just once in their last four away games.

He said: “I can only speak for myself, but I’m not unconfident at all.

“I can’t comment on anyone else as that’s not my position to worry about, but I just know missing that chance, I let myself down and my team-mates down as well.”

Boss Brabin felt the lack of firepower has plagued Town all season though, as only Amari Morgan-Smith is in double figures as well, despite missing large parts of the campaign with injury.

The boss has seen bids for the likes of Jon Shaw, James Constable and Alan Connell knocked back this term and believes his failure to land a prove goalscorer has affected their potency in the box.

He added: “We’ve been in a little bit of a mini slump of late.

“We don’t look like we can score a goal and barring two performances it just hasn’t been good enough.

“If I’m honest, it’s something that’s been there since the start of the season. It’s not through a lack of trying, I just don’t think we’ve had that enough in abundance and it’s certainly been evident in the last few games.

“We’ve worked hard for our goals but of late we just don’t look confident enough in the final third and it’s something that’s really disappointing.”

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