Hatters boss John Still praised his side for their ability to ‘see the picture’ during the 3-1 Capital One Cup victory over Bristol City on Tuesday night.
For the opening 30 minutes, the Hatters were reduced to chasing shadows at times as City’s possession-style football came to the fore.
“After about 20-25 minutes, I thought we saw the picture which is every credit to the players.”John Still
But with Town matching up the visitors’ 3-5-2 formation and Steve McNulty, Scott Cuthbert and Luke Wilkinson standing firm, it allowing Hatters’ attacking players to eventually wrest control back and go on to triumph.
Still said: “We played against a good side and said before the game, they are very fluid with their 3-5-2.
“We matched up as we thought that was the right thing to do and we said that we’re going to have to work hard early on to work out out their movement.
“Their movement is very clever and you can’t coach it, you’ve got to work it out as you go and once we got over that 20 minutes, we worked it out.
“The way they pass and move, the way they rotate, that’s quality and you have to be good players to do that. If you play against that you have to have that little bit of discipline and you’ve got to see the picture. After about 20-25 minutes, I thought we saw the picture which is every credit to the players, so well done them and the three centre halves were the catalyst of our performance.”
Goalscorer Paul Benson, who opened his account for the season admitted the players had been well drilled ahead of the tie about what to expect.
He said: “We didn’t want to give them any chances, as you saw last year, when Bristol City score, they tend to score three or four or five, so we didn’t want that to happen.
“We didn’t want to go one behind early on, wanted to make sure we had good shape, good organisation, and we did that brilliantly for the whole game.
“They had a lot of the ball, we spent a lot of energy chasing and keeping our shape, stopping them from playing out, which was our game plan really. So it was a great performance from us and we should be very happy with our night’s work.”
Striker partner Jack Marriott echoed those thoughts too, as he he hailed his side’s discipline throughout the evening, saying: “We played really, we know what they’re about, know they like to move it, play a 3-5-1, and play it very well.
“They’re very difficult to play against, but we were very disciplined in what we did and that showed how good of a squad we have is that we’re willing to work and willing to fight for each other.”
Boss Still also knew that City’s formation could be their downfall at times and felt his side showed that by the manner in which they attacked.
He added: “We exploited their people getting forward, moved the ball very quickly, the first goal was a classic example of that, from one end of the pitch to another, moving it quickly.
“Because of their fluidity in the team they sometimes become a bit unbalanced, so we’ve got to move the ball quickly, we did and it was a good finish.
“We always had a little bit there to counter what they could produce and the second and third goals, the quality of our goals were first class.
“It’s not even the winning and losing, its the components. We have to be fit, well we showed how fit we were. We have to be organised, I thought our organisation was absolutely first class.
“We have to have discipline, we showed great discipline and we have to have quality, and we showed quality in the pass and move for the goals. Are we where we all want to be? No we’re not, we’ll grow into that, but it was a good performance.”