Stech not under any extra pressure despite Newcastle error

Marek Stech makes a wonderful save from Ayoze Perez on Saturday
Marek Stech makes a wonderful save from Ayoze Perez on Saturday

Hatters keeper Marek Stech isn’t under any undue pressure from boss Nathan Jones despite his error against Newcastle United on Saturday.

With the scores goalless, the Luton stopper allowed Jacob Murphy’s free kick to spill out of his grasp, with Ayoze Perez on hand to notch the rebound.

Stech had also been culpable for both goals scored by Lincoln City the previous weekend, and made another mistake in the 1-1 draw against Notts County recently, coming for a cross he was never going to reach.

On the blips from his summer signing, who has also made a host of stunning saves this season, Jones said: “You’re always concerned when your keeper makes an error, because usually when a keeper makes an error you concede a goal.

“We have got three keepers here, two first choice ones who are really competing and Harry (Isted) who’s forging a career himself, so we have competition all the way through.

“There’s no givens in the side, who’s going to start and who’s not, so we have real competition.

The fact that we have patience with Marek is that he’s been outstanding this year and he’s won us games.

Nathan Jones

“But the fact that we have patience with Marek is that he’s been outstanding this year and he’s won us games.

“So if every time he’s won us a game, he gets a little bit of leeway, then he’s well in credit for leeway, because he’s been outstanding, it’s just we can’t let that continue.

“Marek knows that, there’s no pressure, it’s just professional pride.”

Team-mate Danny Hylton was quick to stick up for the popular Czech keeper too, who made some fine saves in the second period at St James’ Park, saying: “I don’t really know what’s happened.

“I’ve seen Stechy’s spilled it, then for a minute I thought I was going to clear it, but the lad’s got there and he’s scored.

“He won’t be happy with it, but Stechy’s been amazing for us this season and sometimes those things happen.

“Everyone of us makes mistakes and it’s how react.

“We’re all fully behind the big man and he’s been amazing, so no-one’s on his back.”

After keeping five clean sheets from six games, Luton have now shipped nine goals in three matches, and Jones wants his side to get back to their formidable defensive record.

He continued: “What we haven’t done is in the last three games kept a clean sheet, whereas we’ve been outstanding in the 24 games prior, as we kept 12 clean sheets.

“We’re a clean sheet one in two, that’s not been the case in the last three games, so that’s what we’ve got to get back to.

“We know if we’re keeping clean sheets, then we’ve got one heck of a chance of winning the game because of our attacking prowess.

“It’s difficult to keep a clean sheet against Newcastle, because of the talent they have, but the games prior to that, we felt both goals were very, very avoidable.”