Sheehan demands Town ‘liven up’ in promotion push

Town defender Alan Sheehan
Town defender Alan Sheehan

Luton’s players have been urged to ‘liven up’ by defender Alan Sheehan as they continue to stutter their way towards the finishing line this season.

The Hatters drew for the fourth time in five games at the weekend, held 1-1 in Wales by Newport County to fall three points behind table-toppers Accrington Stanley.

It’s not that we’re losing, we’re just drawing a good few and that was our problem last year, we drew too many games.

Alan Sheehan

Their one time impregnable-looking lead at the top of has now gone, with Town in danger of dropping down to third place before their late kick off against Barnet at Kenilworth Road on Saturday, if Wycombe beat Crawley tonight and Port Vale on Saturday.

Sheehan said: “We are confident, but I’m not hiding behind any facts, we need to liven up and start getting a few wins because we were flying.

“Every team has little blips and it’s not that we’re losing, we’re just drawing a good few and that was our problem last year, we drew too many games.

“So we just need to start turning one or two of these draws into wins and get some of the momentum back and we go again.”

Although Town showed good character to once again earn a point from a losing position on Saturday, reacting well to Josh Sheehan’s second minute opener, his namesake doesn’t want that to become the norm.

Sheehan continued: “We do keep coming from behind and it is good coming from behind, but the flip side of that coin is we don’t want to be going behind.

“We had a big chat about it before the game, a quick start and everyone’s ready. We’re flying, we’re pumped and then bang, we’re on the back foot, 1-0 down straight away and you give yourselves a mountain to climb.

“We have got to stop doing that. It’s no one person’s fault, it’s a team thing, we’ve all got to be ready.

“I know it’s only two games we’ve conceded early, but this is the business time of the season, we’ve all got to be on our toes and be ready to go next week.”

Dan Potts’ header was enough to gain the visitors another point on their tally towards promotion, but it wasn’t a result that Sheehan could get over-excited about.

He added: “We were very disappointed to go behind so early, that’s the second game in a row that’s happened now.

“We had a big talk about it beforehand, it’s not like we’re not prepared for the game, we’re as prepared as anybody.

“There was a few lapses in concentration, bang you’re 1-0 behind and then you’ve got an uphill battle again.

“I thought we responded really well, then second half up and down, both teams attacking, you want to be winning every game, but that’s the way it is.”

Hatters had kept an impressive 15 clean sheets in the league by the start of February, but have yet to do so since, going seven games without a shut out and Sheehan couldn’t hide his frustration with that.

He added: “We’re very disappointed, we base ourselves on being tough to beat and clean sheets and we haven’t kept a clean sheet in a while now.

“So that’s disappointing from a defensive point of view and I feel that we need to be a lot more clinical in front of goal too. A few times in the first half, we were scoring one and then getting another and getting another, now it’s just a bit stop-start at the moment.

“They’re a difficult team, when the ball goes out of play it’s a long throw. I thought we handled it well enough, apart from the first few minutes, so it’s just disappointing.”