Town skipper demands clean sheets

Steve McNulty
Steve McNulty

Hatters skipper Steve McNulty has called on his side to start keeping clean sheets as they look to arrest their disappointing start to the season.

Luton are yet to record a shut out in any of their four matches and have conceded stoppage time goals in their last two games, with Oxford nabbing a draw at the weekend and then Bristol Rovers stealing a last-gasp winner on Tuesday night.

“We need to shut up shop as it’s not good enough, we can’t keep conceding goals.”

Steve McNulty

McNulty said: “We need to be keeping it nil at the back, we can’t be getting done like that. We need to shut up shop as it’s not good enough, we can’t keep conceding goals.

“We have to work on going forward too, but we need to keep clean sheets. It’s a very hard one to swallow, we should have defended it properly, but we got done in the last minute again.

“We huffed and puffed all night, but it was lacklustre performance and we need to improve on it. We can’t excuse getting sucker punched again for the second game running though, we need to be better.”

McNulty also felt the Pirates’ winner from former Town youngster Stuart Sinclair could and should have easily been avoided too.

He continued: “We should have done our job at the back, the wing backs as well as they needed to sit in.

“In the last minute, they had a throw-in, and we needed to be across, a bit tighter and we weren’t as they’ve gone through and scored.

“We’ll go in Thursday, watch the video, see what we can do about it, put it to one side learn from it, get better from it and then go again on Saturday.”

Hatters manager John Still believes that Town’s defence has been their most consistent attribute of the opening matches, praising the back three of McNulty, Scott Cuthbert and Luke Wilkinson.

However, he is well aware the attackers need to do more after their insipid display in midweek, adding: “The one area of our game that we’ve all been satisfied is the three centre halves.

“Against Bristol Rovers was the only time in all of the games that I’ve probably been a bit disappointed with our attacking play though.

“When we did move it, we weren’t that accurate with our passing. When we got into wide areas, we never produced a telling cross, when we regained the ball from our attacks, and that’s a great opportunity as a teams coming out of their defence, we didn’t move the ball, we let them get into the right sort of shape to defend.

“So from that point of view, we never produced anything like we’re capable of, we never had enough players that produced the quality they had.

“When I look at the people that are going to attack for us, our two forwards, Paddy (McCourt), Cameron (McGeehan), the wingbacks.

“Stephen O’Donnell got up there but never produced good crossing, he played negatively sometimes. Scott (Griffiths) never really got up there, Paddy did, his movement was terrific, but we couldn’t find the pass that would open the game up for a forward to have a goalscoring opportunity.

“We couldn’t find that pass, Cam got in and around the box on quite a few times, when we had crossing opportunities, but we never crossed it well enough or didn’t cross it all.”