A light-hearted look at the League, including Luton’s cake mix
ONE of Luton manager John Still’s favourite footballing analogies involves comparing his team’s performance to the mixing of the ingredients that go into a cake. It doesn’t need Great British
Bake Off presenter Mary Berry to tell fellow veteran Still that opening the oven door before time will always make the end product sink.
And so it has proved for the Hatters, who let in a goal in the 90th minute and beyond for the fourth time in seven league games to go down 3-2 at Notts County last Saturday.
Without conceding their late advantages, Luton would have gone into this weekend 10th in League Two taking into account the five extra points and improved goal difference they’d boast.
Instead, they welcomed Mansfield Town to Kenilworth Road from 20th position, with Still bringing back his Conference-winning centre-half Steve McNulty after a month warming the bench in an attempt to keep the door firmly shut.
And the 65-year-old manager is confident his side’s position will rise as their time-keeping improves – as has been the case in the previous two seasons.
“Wherever we’ve gone I think we’ve played well, but last-minute goals have cost us,” Still told The
Football League Paper. “The defenders have been outstanding for 90 minutes, but we look at it on the DVD and normally it’s some kind of error. Not always what I’d call an obvious error – a misplaced pass or a missed header. Sometimes you’ve got to look for it to find it, but it’s there. So we just keep working on it in training.”
Not that Luton haven’t been able to take advantage of late strikes themselves. In all competitions, seven of their ten games so far this term have included a last-minute or added-time goal – and Still isn’t too concerned at this stage.
“It’s losing that little bit of concentration,” he added. “We’d be halfway up the table if we’d maintained our focus right to the whistle, but we’ll grow and grow, like we did last year.
“We were in a similar position then went on a great run that took us to the top of the league just after Christmas. I think we are playing well so I’m quite comfortable with things at the moment.”
SAME OLD STORY: Conceding late against Portsmouth and Oxford United