Hatters squad backed to challenge on two fronts

First team coach Hakan Hayrettin believes Town’s squad has the ability to win promotion and the FA Trophy this season, writes Mike Simmonds.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 4th December 2013, 11:25 am
Charlie Smith impressed on his full debut for Hatters
Charlie Smith impressed on his full debut for Hatters

Luton moved through to the second round of the competition on Tuesday night with a 2-0 win over Staines and now face Wrexham at home a week on Saturday.

Hatters once again went with a youthful XI as Hayrettin said: “The philosophy we have here installed by the manager and the spirit and determination applies all the way through the football club.

“We believe in giving youngsters a chance and we certainly believe that this squad is capable of winning the Conference and the Trophy. Why not? It’s possible.”

Striker Mark Cullen echoed those thoughts, as he said: “It’s a great chance to get to Wembley, so we wanted to win the game and in the end it was quite comfortable.

“Cup football is an added bonus and it’s a good chance for the young lads and the whole squad.”

Hatters gave more game time to some members of their highly-rated U18s squad against the Swans.

Charlie Smith earned his full Town debut, while Tinashe Chabata started once more at right back.

Striker Zane Banton showed plenty of promise from the bench, going close on more than one occasion, while midfielder Ian Rees made his first Luton appearance late on.

Hayrettin continued: “Charlie did well.

“If you’re a good player you play better with better players, and these players here are good players.

“Charlie has got to get used to training with a tempo and playing with a tempo.

“He did fantastically well, so has Tinashe, and so has Zane Banton when he came on.

Every time he gets the ball you know there’s going to be some fun and games when he’s facing the goal.

“He was unlucky once or twice, but fair play to the kid he’s willing to have a go.

“That’s what we want, players like that who are going to be chomping at the bit to get the ball and shoot or create something and he’s one of them.

“Ian Rees has got a little bit of bite about him, he gets up and down the pitch really well.

“When you’re a youth team player and you come on, you want to raise your game.

“They did that and I hope that continues.”

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