Hatters defender confident the goals will start to flow for Luton

Naismith puzzled as to why Town aren't netting more

Saturday, 24th April 2021, 8:03 am
Updated Saturday, 24th April 2021, 8:04 am
George Moncur saw this shot saved by Reading keeper Rafael

Defender Kal Naismith is confident that the goals will start to flow for the Hatters in the final four games of the season.

Despite Luton's excellent campaign which sees them sitting 12th in the Championship, above sides like Stoke City, Preston North End and Blackburn Rovers, they are the fifth lowest scorers in the division, with just 36 goals from their 42 games so far.

Town have drawn 18 blanks so far this term too and need to score four more to avoid setting a record for the least amount of goals netted in a 46-game campaign which happened back in 1995-96.

Although Naismith can't quite work out why Luton have struggled to breach the opposition, he doesn’t think that will be a long-term problem, as speaking after the goalless draw against Reading on Wednesday night, he said: “That’s the beauty of football, there’s times when us a back four we feel like we’re solid, like we’re defending well, but we just concede silly little goals and you think ‘why is that happening?’

“We’re in such good shape, we’re defending well, it happens for us as defenders and we can’t quite pinpoint it.

“It’s the same for forwards, they’re doing everything right.

"Big Elijah (Adebayo) up top, an absolute handful, his build-up play, everything is amazing, just that little bit where it’s the final ball to him and he’s not getting a goal.

“Then Clicker (Jordan Clark) has a chance, and Harry Cornick, every time he plays he’s unbelievable, he’s threatening, he’s getting assists, but it’s just not falling for him and you can’t put your finger on it.

“We need to do our job, keep clean sheets as a team and it’s not just the back four or back five with Slugs (Simon Sluga), it’s everyone.

“The shape of the full team has been outstanding and I think we’re very close to getting a lot of goals, winning twos, three, four-nils against teams as our all-round performances have been great.

“Once we get one or two goals we’ll really pick up and start scoring.

“Attacking as a team has been excellent, it’s just that final little bit that we will get, we work hard all week training, so we’ll definitely get it.”

Boss Nathan Jones was also well aware of his side’s difficulties in front of goal this term, but understands that could always happen such is the quality of Town's fellow Championship sides.

He continued: “Taking your chances and being more productive, that’s the most difficult thing.

“Scoring goals is the hardest thing in football, if it was easy, then everyone would be doing it.

“It’s why the strikers and creative players get paid the most money as it’s the hardest thing to do, but all-round performance we’re at a good level.

"We’re saying if we keep clean sheets we only need one to win the game, but we would like to take more chances.

“We’re coming up against some real, real tough sides, we scored three against Wycombe, we took our chances against Wycombe, we’ve come up against Watford that don’t lost many game, were unbeaten in eight and we were the first to win.

“They went and deservedly turned over Norwich, so it shows the level of performance we’re putting in and these (Reading) are a fantastic side, they really are, they can hurt you if you let them settle but we didn’t and that’s what I’m really pleased about.”

Jones was left to reflect on another evening of missed opportunities though against the Royals as Jordan Clark volleyed wide in the first half, before George Moncur was denied by keeper Rafael after the break.

Glen Rea and James Collins both put late headers over the bar too, as Jones added: “It (Clark's effort) was a great chance and just different choices.

"Elijah had an opportunity to head it the other day (against Watford) and tried a bicycle kick and Clarky tried to volley it when a diving header would have been easier.

“The keeper has pulled off a fantastic save from George and then James right at the end, literally the last kick of the game has had a glorious opportunity.

"So we’ve had some real clear-cut chances to have won the game and I’m disappointed we haven't so it’s probably a missed opportunity.

“But the level of performances we’re getting, that’s the pleasing thing.

"I don’t think anyone in the world now is questioning that we’re not a real good Championship side as we’re causing problems to everyone we play against.”