Buckle learns from Hatters horror show

NEW Hatters manager Paul Buckle was glad to have witnessed first hand exactly the size of the task facing him during Town’s 3-1 defeat at Braintree Town on Saturday, writes Mike Simmonds.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 8th April 2012, 9:28 pm

After looking like they had a play-off spot sewn up, Luton have been in free-fall recently, with the latest loss stretching their run without a win to eight games.

Buckle was watching from the stands as he didn’t officially take charge until today, and at a press conference this morning, he said: “We’ve got a lot of work to do now if we’re going to win promotion this season. We know that, we saw that yesterday.

“You’re only as good as your last game and the players were very honest in meetings with them afterwards, because they had to talk to me, tell me how they’re feeling and say what’s going on.

“I’m comfortable we got that out of the way. If we’d have won 2-1, would I have kidded myself that it’s all okay and it’s all going to be great.

“It didn’t work out, there’s lots to work on and I’m looking for a reaction from the players tomorrow, whichever 11 start and the subs too.”

The view was echoed by managing director Gary Sweet, who along with technical director Lil Fuccillo, flanked Buckle as he was unveiled to the press.

Sweet said: “Yesterday was somebody else’s game and I don’t want to dwell on it too much.

“But if we want to get a positive out of it, the positive was that Paul was sitting there and saw the worst it can be and I’m quite pleased about that.

“It’s like the doctor fully understanding what the problem is with the patient and having an exposed wound, there for all to see.

“Paul knows now having seen that, in some ways had the lads gone out and played their hearts out and lost 1-0, that would have been a worse situation, because at least now Paul can see it.”

Buckle takes his first game in charge tomorrow when Hayes & Yeading visit Kenilworth Road.

Despite only having one match to view his new squad, Buckle was confident he had gleaned plenty from the loss to have an instant impact and knows one thing is for sure, he doesn’t want to experience the sour taste of defeat he did at the Amlin Stadium.

He said: “I know it’s a big squad in terms of numbers, players who have played in the league, players who the former regime thought were good enough to get the club up.

“I looked at it and on paper it looks great, but a lot of things do on paper, everything looks good on paper.

“The biggest bit is doing it out there and yesterday was an eye opener for me.

“I didn’t feel good yesterday, I don’t think anyone on this table felt very good at all. I don’t want that feeling.

“We get another game tomorrow, the players are in today, it’s not a punishment, just a realism.

“There’s no time to waste and there is an opportunity for us all, but we have to realistic. We haven’t won in eight games and we have to turn that round very quickly by being positive, to the point and win the game tomorrow.”

Speaking about his decision to call the players in on Easter Sunday, Buckle continued: “Players need to be fit, be strong, be ready.

“It’s a day off, what are we going day with our day off today? I know it’s a holiday, but not for us, it never is for footballers, coaches, football people.

“We’re in today, because a certain amount of players didn’t do anything yesterday. Okay they did a bit of running after the game, but that doesn’t merit being out there being challenged on the training field.

“It’s an opportunity for me to get over the message that I want, because there were a lot of things that I wasn’t happy with yesterday, there were lots of things I saw.

“There were some positives. We showed great character to come back from 1-0 down. We could have capitulated there and then, we didn’t, but ultimately we have to try and get the message over quickly as there’s not a lot of time.”

Buckle already has an idea of his starting 11 for the match, but could well have been influenced by the training sessions laid on this morning, adding: “Players can always force their way in. It’s always better if you’ve got Monday to Friday before a game because players have got a chance to impress you.

“I’m massive on training, massive on the tempo of training, but ultimately I’ve got an idea of the team tomorrow, but I’ll be governed by training today.

“Body language is important too, I won’t be looking at anyone moping around. I’m really not interested in that at all, so players better buck up this morning.”

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