Brabin urges total support from Hatters fans

HATTERS boss Gary Brabin has urged supporters to put their feelings towards him to one side and concentrate solely on backing the players when Grimsby Town visit Kenilworth Road tomorrow, writes Mike Simmonds.

Friday, 23rd March 2012, 1:54 pm

The Luton faithful have become increasingly despondent in recent weeks after witnessing their teams title hopes go up in smoke, and their grip on a play-off spot loosen dramatically with matters coming to a head when Brabin was booed off after Tuesday night’s 3-0 defeat at Forest Green Rovers.

But the boss is well aware just what kind of atmosphere the fans can create if they are at their vocal best from the word go, as he said: “They play a really massive part and I totally 100 per cent understand the disappointment from Tuesday night.

“If I was in the crowd, I would have probably joined them with that reaction. But all I would say is there are nine games left, hopefully 12 and I don’t want people pressing the self destruct button and throwing away what’s been a tough season so far.

“They are a massive tool for us. Sometimes they don’t realise how big a motivation they are for us. They’re powerful in numbers. One murmur spills over to a little bit of negativity and we’ve got a group of lads here who are giving their all and confident we can achieve our goal of promotion.

“A lot of teams try and use it to our disadvantage, but if we can use it to our advantage and if they can have a little bit of faith and belief, keep backing the lads like they have done, I think that can certainly push us towards promotion.

“I know where we should be doing better and I know the reasons behind that, I just urge people to be patient, keep supporting like they have done and hopefully we’ll all be smiling and move forward at the end of the season when we achieve our goal.”

Brabin admitted the last few days have been tough after the reception he received at the New Lawn, but still retains an unwavering belief that he is the right man for the job.

He said: “I’ve got the confidence definitely. I think I know what it takes. I know this group of players inside out, I know where we fell short, I’ve never hid behind that, I know the games we’ve underachieved.

“You’ve got to have a thick skin and I do, I understand what comes with the job, but it has been (tough).

“It hurts me. I know I haven’t supported Luton for 40 years, but I’m a Luton supporter, I am.

“I love football and when you’re employed by a club and when you’ve been at the club as long as I have now, I support Luton Town.

“I’m as gutted as everyone else. Its disappoints me that there are a group of players there who are better than what they’ve shown on Tuesday.

“All I can say is that I do firmly believe we’re on track and I’m urging supporter to keep faith.

“In football, you’re always thinking that it quickly changes round. Two months ago Sam Allardyce was a hero and Steve Kean was a disaster.

“It’s turned full circle now. Steve Kean’s a hero and people are questioning Sam Allardyce.

“That’s football and I think the at the end of the season is a fantastic time to judge.

“The group of supporters have been through hell in the past four or five years and if they can just be they can just be patient for few more weeks, hopefully if they see me on a beach in Spain or somewhere they can buy me a drink after getting them promoted.”

The boss also praised the club’s board for their faith in him, as they have become under increasing pressure to make a change at the helm.

He continued: “I think in football, it’s the board who get in in the neck with most instances.

“I know the relationship between manager and supporters is great when things are going great and not so when things are going bad.

“I’ll carry the can, and I’m the board are under a lot pressure. But we’re at a stage now where I believe in the players and myself that we’re good enough to achieve our goal of promotion.”

Brabin also pointed to the fact that even though the likes of Grimsby have been on an impressive run of form to be firm play-off contenders, they are still four points behind Town.

He added: “There’s going to be a lot more twists and turns in the league. Everyone is saying what a fantastic season Wrexham and Fleetwood are having, but it could end up that one of theme doesn’t even get promoted.

“People are on fantastic runs who aren’t in as good a position as we are in.

“Yes, we are having a bit of a mini-slump, but we’re still on track, it’s in our hands.”