Buckle not expecting Darts to park the bus

Town boss Paul Buckle is hopeful that Saturday’s opponents Dartford will show some more adventure than they have encountered at Kenilworth Road recently, writes Mike Simmonds.

Luton’s last two home matches have seen Nuneaton park the proverbial bus in their League and FA Cup clashes, while they experienced something similar at Hereford United on Tuesday evening.

Dartrford are sixth in the table though and have already won at Grimsby, while drawing with Wrexham on their travels, so Buckle thinks they will look to attack the Town.

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When asked if he thought they would set up defensively, he said: “I don’t think they’ll do that.

“I’ve watched them a couple of times and I think they’ll go for it.

“I don’t think you can keep doing that if you’ve got any aspirations of being at the right end of the league. It’s negative and not something I’d like to do or watch

“It’s not easy to play against, but it’s something we’ve been working on in training. I think you can see by our run of wins that we are capable of breaking teams down.

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“Sometimes it takes a bit longer than you would like, but a game is 90 minutes long and we have to be patient. If we’re patient we can break these teams down.

“It’s something we face and is nothing new to us, so it’s something I’m sure we’ll face in the future.

“We’ve been doing well and I thoroughly enjoyed watching us play the other night.”

Buckle admitted his side have been doing extra work in training to try and counteract sides who come to Kenilworth Road and show no attacking intent.

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He continued: “One of the things we’ve worked on is maybe flooding the 18-yard box a little bit more with maybe a midfielder trying to get in and a full back on the opposite side trying to get back in.

“It’s about trying to get the first goal which sometimes can be difficult with the way the opposition has been setting up against us.

“(Jonathan) Smith can score goals, we’ve been encouraging Howellsy (Jake Howells) to get forward too.

“At home it’s like playing with two central defenders. We have to have our full backs bombed on and be comfortable in possession. Even one of our centre halves has to be comfortable coming out with the ball to try and commit people and pull people out of holes.”

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Dartford have won nine matches already this season after coming up from the Blue Square South and Buckle points to the momentum that can snowball after a promotion winning campaign.

He continued: “Sometimes that can happen when they go up and carry it on. It’s certainly happened with Dartford, they’ve had a very good start to the season and they certainly look like they’re having a right go a the league.

“Fair play to them, I’m sure they’ll come to Kenilworth Road on Saturday looking to enjoy the game.”

Although Town dropped to third in the table in midweek, Buckle remains upbeat about Town’s start to the campaign that has seen them take 32 points from 17 games to sit just behind leaders Newport County.

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He said: “There are a lot of good teams now in our division. I think the Conference is getting stronger year by year. It’s still quite early days and I’m a great believer that when you get past Christmas and into January, you start to see a real pattern appearing in the league.

“I’m delighted with where we are at the moment and I don’t feel we’ve come off it any way, shape of form.

“I looked at the (Hereford) game again and it’s missed opportunities. You can’t have a go at players for that and I’ve been proven right as earlier in the season we missed a few and then it came right.

“It will come good again. We had 12 corners and 20 attempts on goal. If we keep doing that and have the possession as well, keep tight at the back, we’ll win games.

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“For me, there’s no reason for us to change anything we’ve been doing.

“I’m very pleased with our start and if you’d have said to me at the start of season we’d be where we are, I’d have taken that.”

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