No dwelling on the past for Luton assistant Brabin

Jason Walker saw this penalty saved in their Conference play-off final against AFC Wimbledon in 2011.
Jason Walker saw this penalty saved in their Conference play-off final against AFC Wimbledon in 2011.

Town assistant boss Gary Brabin wasn’t dwelling on the past after returning to the cub as number two to Graeme Jones in the summer.

The former Luton manager was a width of a post away from being the one who masterminded Hatters’ ascension back to the Football League in 2011.

On that day in Manchester, with the Conference play-off final against AFC Wimbledon approaching the last seconds of stoppage time, striker Jason Walker headed goalwards.

However, rather than the ball nestle into the bottom corner, rewriting history for the club and Brabin, it hit the base of the post and rebounded into the grateful arms of keeper Seb Brown.

In the shoot-out that followed, after Alex Lawless missed, the scores were locked at 2-2, before Walker saw his attempted dink saved by Brown.

Town went on to lose 4-3, the Dons going up instead, but when asked if he wished Walker had just put through his foot through his effort, Brabin said: “I’m not one of those people that dwells on things that have gone on.

“Things happen for a reason and we all have to deal with disappointment in our lives.

“I’m one of them who gets up, dusts myself down and gets on with it.

“I like to think I’m a positive person and it’s no good looking back, as I was part of the process.

“I knew is going to be tough, and I knew it was hard for the Luton fans to accept where they were, because it was no fault of theirs.

“ I knew it was always going to be tough and I knew when I made the decision to take the job that was part of it.

“That’s the industry we’re in but I’m not the type of person that holds grudges.

“I always try to dust myself down and get on with the next job.

“I felt proud of the work I had done. I think every manager gets sacked always wants a little bit longer, but I left and I still left on good terms because I knew the reasons why.

“It was just whatever it took to move the club forward.

“Everything was made with the right decision and it’s been proved right because the club is back where it belongs.

“I look at the history of the club and you take more of an interest in football club when you’ve been part of it.

“Even before I came (back) to the club, when I’ve seen the football club get promoted back into the Football League I was so delighted for the people I knew personally.
“I then watched them getting promoted into Division One, I was delighted.

“I text Gary Sweet (chief executive) and all the people who were part of the club because I thought that was the very least they deserve to be.

"So, I’m not spending too much time dwelling in the past.

"I’m in during the day today work. I want to help Graeme, who is my manager but also my friend, as well as people who are friends here at the club, achieve more success."

Since getting back into the league after five years away, Town have gone from strength to strength, getting over more play-off heartache in 2017, to earn back-to-back promotions to the Championship.

It was something Brabin felt was always a possibility for the Hatters and was something he relayed to close friend Jones when asked about the project at Kenilworth Road.

He added: “I said my honest opinion, it was a great club where I’d worked first hand, with some real, honest, hard-working, genuine, good people behind the scenes.

“It was a tough job when I was there and I had to come through that a little bit, give my honest opinion as a whole.

“Once the club got back in the Football League, I always thought it would go from strength to strength.

“I think I’m probably on record as saying that back in those days.

“I think it’s back where it belongs now in the Championship.

“Graeme obviously made his own mind on up the people he spoke to and what he thought of the club, but thankfully he’s come here and asked me to come with him.”