Still lambasts Hatters’ defending once more

Elliot Justham is beaten from the spot for Wycombe's second
Elliot Justham is beaten from the spot for Wycombe's second

Hatters boss John Still blasted his error-strewn side once more as they fell to a 3-2 defeat against Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday night.

For the second home game running, the hosts gave themselves too much to do by conceding three goals in the opening 30 minutes, with only Sam Saunders’ deflected effort beyond blame.

“It’s hard to win games when you’re not giving goals away, but we did, and we’re playing against a good side.”

John Still

Centre half Luke Wilkinson gave away a needless penalty with a trip on Matthew Bloomfield and then Town’s defence parted for Alfie Mawson to charge through and slot home the third,

Still said: “The last few games we’ve played well enough to get something, but if you make mistakes it doesn’t matter how well you play.

“The penalty was a ridiculous challenge, absolutely ridiculous. I thought we could given away another one, on a very similar occasion as Luke Wilkinson didn’t see him coming and he should.

“He’s got to have that awareness in his defending, but we can’t keep giving goals away. It’s hard to win games when you’re not giving goals away, but we did, and we’re playing against a good side.

“From defending great for two seasons, that’s where we’re falling down at the moment.

“Am I happy with how we played? Yes. But I’ve been happy with how we’ve played in a few games. Individuals have to be more responsible than we’re being at the moment.

“We can go back on the training ground and work as hard as we always do, but on the day it’s down to individuals to not make mistakes, although once again I’m the manager, I have to be responsible for that.”

Striker Paul Benson admitted that the mistakes from Town’s previously rock solid defence are putting even more pressure on the attackers to constantly have to dig them out of a hole.

He said: “We want to get promoted this season and if you let in three goals in the first half you’re never going to get promoted doing that.

“They are cheap goals and it makes it very hard to win games of football when you’ve got to score four goals to win.

“It’s ridiculous to think that we’re going to be doing that every game and, at the moment, it seems like we’re having to come back from a goal down to win a game, if not two or three.

“It’s just asking too much for players to do that. We need to try and nip it in the bud and stop giving away stupid goals.”

Just on why Town have struggled so much defensively, conceding 10 goals in their last five games, Still felt the disruption to the spine of his team had played a huge part.

He added: “I think part of the problem has occurred for whatever reason when we lost Wilkinson and McNulty and (Mark) Tyler and (Nathan) Doyle.

“We seemed to lose that togetherness of that defensive area, and we’ve worked really hard in training on it. They’re back now the two centre halves, but they’ve not gelled the way they had before.

“Elliot (Justham) in goal has done very well, I can’t criticise him whatsoever, but with Tyler behind, that little bit of experience, Doyle in front, maybe that is it.

“But I could say that and that could be an excuse, it could not be the reason. There is no reason that players make the mistakes they’re making, because they’ve not done it all season, but the last few games they’ve done it.”