Buckle blast for Town’s weak defence

Hatters boss Paul Buckle blasted his side’s defence as Town slumped to a shocking 5-2 defeat against Newport County AFC on Tuesday night, writes Mike Simmonds.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 12th December 2012, 5:04 pm

Luton conceded five times for the first time in the Blue Square Bet Premier, as they saw their six game unbeaten run end in a whimper.

Afterwards, Buckle said: “We looked at the pitch and we knew it was going to be a fight, we knew there was going to be very little football played.

“I said it was going to be the team who adjusted to conditions the best and you have to say it was Newport.

“We struggled to clear our lines, we hacked at things and poked at things, and the pitch wasn’t conducive to that.

“Dean Beckwith’s been out with broken nose and didn’t look himself.

“We looked a little bit weaker than before and are very keen to get (Janos) Kovacs back in action on Saturday.

“We didn’t do the basics. The instruction was the ball should be cleared, you had to put your foot through it. You couldn’t poke your toe at it or play any good football.

“We had to get it forward and scrap for things and they did it better than we did.”

Hatters were dealt a blow in the lead up to the game with the news that midfielder Jonathan Smith had been recalled by York City.

With centre half Janos Kovacs absent due to suspension as well, Buckle felt the pair were a huge miss.

He continued: “When you lose Smith out of the middle of the park who gives us that fight and lose Kovacs, it makes life difficult.

“Smith has been brought in with the winter months in mind to bring us some bite in midfield and we missed him badly, same as Kovacs.

“I thought we got bullied in certain areas, they forced us into errors.”

The game had passed two pitch inspections prior to going ahead, with some Town officials believing it shouldn’t have due to icy areas on certain parts of the surface.

When asked if the referee made the right decision, Buckle added: “It was right to go ahead because the referee made the decision.

“It wasn’t a surface where you’re going to see good football, it was a scrap, it was a fight, and we came out second best. We got undone, but it was errors, it wasn’t them opening us up with good play at all.

“We had an off night and have got to get back on it. We know where the fault was.”

For all the latest Luton Town FC news, reports, stats, player profiles, live match updates, MOM poll, prediction table and a complete fixture list, visit our Hatters Microsite.