Naismith wants Hatters to use Cherries victory as momentum for business end of the season

Defender thrilled as Luton make it four unbeaten

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 3:34 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 3:34 pm
Kal Naismith goes in for a challenge at the weekend
Kal Naismith goes in for a challenge at the weekend

Town hero Kal Naismith believes his side’s superb last-gasp victory over league leaders Bournemouth can be the catalyst for a push towards the play-offs over the second half of the season.

Luton’s rollercoaster victory, sealed by Naismith’s wonderful goal with the last kick of the game means they are now four matches unbeaten in all competitions and were 13th in the table until Sheffield United and Preston North End jumped above them following a 2-2 draw on Tuesday night.

Although they trail sixth placed Middlesbrough by 10 points, the Hatters have three games in hand on Chris Wilder’s side and a number on most other teams above them.

Luton head to struggling Reading this evening, as Naismith said: “That’s it at this business end of the season, if you’re consistent with your results then you’re going to push up the table and be there.

"If we can go on a run and go about our business, and do what we know we can do, let’s see where it takes us.

“Today (Saturday) is just three points, prepare properly for the next game, try and perform again and get the result.”

Although Naismith was eager to praise the overall display from the Hatters during their outstanding victory over one of the sides hotly tipped for promotion from the second tier, he knows there is still plenty of room for improvement.

The popular Scotsman continued: “The players are buzzing in the changing room, we had so many good performances during the game.

“Our front two were unplayable, Sonny (Bradley) was unbelievable at the back against (Dominic) Solanke, Solanke never really came on to me or Burkey (Reece Burke), he was pretty much with Sonny the whole game.

“Sonny was unbelievable against potentially one of the best strikers in the league.

“I think we’ve got the best striker in the league, but potentially he’s an unbelievable player and he needs to be watched and Sonny was brilliant.

“Burkey stayed on for as long as he could, feeling his quad, it was just an unbelievable performance from everyone.

“The goals kind of come from me being sloppy allowing my man to come inside, the second one, I need to see it back, I can do better when I go in.

“He plays it out, then there’s a quick pass where Amari’i (Bell) can probably do better and stay on his feet.

“He goes in for it, just a few errors in it if we’re nitpicking, but there were so many good performances.”

Midfielder Allan Campbell, who made it 2-0 with a cracking low drive from 20 yards, was another to talk up the performance from the hosts, as he said: "It's been good to get back out there playing Championship games.

"Obviously the disruption of the past couple of weeks has been difficult, but the boys put in a great shift and I thought we deserved to win.

“I think the main thing was to come out and press them, get in their faces, make it difficult for them and to show our quality and I thought we did that brilliantly in the first half.

"The second half they came out and caused us a bit of problems, but we dealt with it and Kal came up with a last minute goal and it was great scenes.

"That’s what football's all about, that’s what you love about football, score goals and the excitement and buzz about the place, it was brilliant."

The scenes when Naismith’s strike hit the back of the net will live long in the memory, but the former Rangers and Wigan player always felt they were capable of such an outcome.

He added: “It’s an amazing result, we’re not shocked as the emotion of scoring in the last minute, everyone’s so overwhelmed with joy and rightly so, but it is just three points.

“Am I shocked it’s happened? No I’m not.

“We’ve arguably deserved to beat Fulham here, we’ve given everyone a right good game here, so there’s no-one we’re going to be afraid of here, or anywhere in the Championship.

“There’s a lot of good teams you’ve got to respect, but we come here playing for the win and hoping we’d get the win and we’ve got that.

“It’s just three points at the end of the day, but the manner of the game it just gives you that whole buzz around the place.

“We’re unbeaten in four now, we never played well against Harrogate, and got the win and then we came here and got the win.

“We definitely have momentum, it’s a good place to come to work, unbelievable place to play, it’s just a feelgood.”