Brabin warns Luton must face physical Alfreton head on

PHYSICAL Alfreton will be looking to leave their mark on the Hatters when they visit Kenilworth Road tomorrow, writes Mark Wood.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 27th January 2012, 4:42 pm

And Luton boss Gary Brabin has warned they must face the challenge posed by the visitors head on if they are to prevail.

He said: “They’ve picked up of late and again will be a big, strong physical side. They will come here and try and frustrate us and we are used to that now.

“We’ve got to show how good a team we are by being bright enough, and want it enough to try and play inventively in the final third and when we do get those chances we’ve got to be ruthless and there’s no difference there.

“One thing you can be assured of with Alfreton is it will be physical.

“It’s something not alien to us, we are used to that and we will meet that head on we’ve got to match them physically, match them mentally and, as well as that, we’ve got to have that bit of cleverness and thought and craft and we’ve got to try and match them with their strengths and play to ours.”

Town lost a pre-season friendly 3-0 to Alfreton at their Impact Arena home two years ago, and Brabin believes that experience will have stood anyone who played in that game in good stead.

He said: “Those who played will realise what kind of side Alfreton are. I’m sure the people who witnessed that game will remember they deserved to beat us on the day.

“They out-fought us so that’s one thing we’ve got to be ready for, there will be a battle element to it and we’ve got to match that.”

The Reds also have a successful manager in Nicky Law in charge, who has also bossed the likes of Bradford City and Grimsby Town.

Brabin continued: “I know Nicky and know what type of teams he’s had and he’s an experienced manager who has managed in the Championship and had a lot of success in League football and took over Alfreton and had a lot of success there as well.”

Injuries are again biting for the Hatters so they may well have to change things round from the team that was held to a goalless home draw by Mansfield on Wednesday night.

The Town chief said: “We’ve had injuries going into the game Wednesday and had to juggle things around a little bit. We’ve got more more injuries on top of that so we’ve got to use the squad which we’ve got confidence in.

“It is important to have a strong squad and we probably felt a bit top heavy not too long ago when we got all of our players back fit. We’ve worked hard to try and trim that down, but it’s sod’s law, as soon as we’ve trimmed it down we seem to have had a bout of injuries.

“We are down to bare bones if you like in terms of three games in a week. But we’ve still got players who are good enough to cope with that and if we can strengthen it all well and good.

“We are delighted with the squad of players we’ve got and it’s up to them now to show what they’re capable of.

“We want to play our best team and there are certainly a couple of things been said coming away from the game the other night which we know how we could have done better.

“If we can strengthen the squad as well in this window it will be a massive help but we’ve still got players here who have got a big say on what we do from here on in.”

The Reds, meanwhile, have strengthened ahead of the clash by signing centre-half Darran Kempson until the end of the season.

The 27-year-old’s contract was cancelled by Grimsby in December and the ex-Mariners skipper has also played for the likes of Morecambe, Wrexham, Shrewsbury Town, Crewe Alexandra and Accrington Stanley.

The Alfreton game marks Luton’s fourth in eight days and Brabin is looking forward to finally having a midweek break.

He added: “It will be nice, but the first objective is you want to get three points.

“If we can get three points from that it will be nice to have break before next weekend.”