Buckle not taking FA Trophy lightly

Hatter boss Paul Buckle will give tomorrow’s FA Trophy clash at Blue Square South side Dorchester Town his utmost attention, writes Mike Simmonds.

With promotion the only goal that truly matters to Town this season, some have seen the Trophy as a distraction the club could do without, but that isn’t in Buckle’s thinking.

He said: “I’m okay with it, we’re fully aware at the start of the season that the FA Trophy is part of our season, we’ll take it very seriously and we’ll be trying to go through.

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Promotion has been at the forefront of the season, to try and get back into the Football League and this competition isn’t at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

“But it’s the next game for us. After two good away performances from the chaps, it’s a game we’re looking forward to and it’s another chance for us to go and win the game.

“Every game is important. When you lose a game of football as a manager, it’s not a nice feeling, when you win a game, it’s a great feeling.

“So I’m not going to kid myself and the players are not going to kid themselves that if they are beaten it will be okay. The FA Cup brings money in and that will be vital when it comes round, but every time the boys put on a Luton shirt and every time I lead a team, we want to win.”

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The boss also reiterated his desire to play a strong team in the clash to try and build some momentum for their next Conference clash at Newport on December 4.

He said: “Continuity is something you always look for. A good understanding from the team and playing the same 11 every week normally brings success.

“We might be forced in a couple of areas because of knocks after Sunday’s games, so if someone is doubtful they won’t play. If one or two are struggling then they will be rested, but I don’t want to devalue anything.

“All I think about is the next game and seeing an improvement in the team especially when we’ve changed our system.

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“I want to see relationships on the pitch, the understanding between the two strikers.

“Players want to play every week and competition for places is a big thing.

“The mood that (Scott) Rendell and (Andre) Gray have been in, scoring goals and making goals, there’s no reason to change that.”

Opponents Dorchester have already carried out a giant-killing act this season, defeating League Two Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup, so Buckle is aware, they won’t fear the visit of his side,

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He continued: “They’ve proved already they can beat higher opposition in the FA Cup. They’ve knocked a League Two club out and I’m sure they’ll fancy their chances.

“We’ll have to be at our very best to win the game. I’m sure they’ll have done their homework, looked at this Luton team and will say we’ll be in for a game as we’ve not disappointed on the road this year.

“They’ve added to squad as well and I think they’ve brought a couple of players in. They’re in a good place at the moment, so good luck to them.

“We are too. We’re very pleased with the way things have gone so far. The boys’ attitude has been fantastic. They’ve trained ever so well and its got all the makings of a really good game.”

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Buckle is anticipating a battle against the Magpies, but backed the side he has put together this year to be able to roll their sleeves up and come away with the result.

He said: “When you play against a team from a lower division, one thing they’re going to do is try and fight and scrap, try and test you.

“But I’ve got every faith in the group of players I’ve got at Luton. We’ve got all the skills to do that, we’re not just a fair weather team. We can go out and scrap and fight, but also play some good stuff.

“We’re going to need to stand up and be counted. The, weather has turned and its a different game of football in these conditions.

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“It’s become a bit grim and a bit tough, but the players are ready for that. They’re a really honest bunch and in winter months you’re going to need that.”

Speaking of the weather, there is a chance the game could be called off with the heavy rain and flooding that has hit some areas of he country, but that won’t come into Town’s preparation as Buckle said: “The weather has been dreadful everywhere. If the rain continues and the floods then I’m not sure, but hopefully it won’t be called off and we’ll get it on.

“If it goes ahead, we’re looking forward to a really good game. Both teams are looking to win, especially as they’re in a confident mood and will probably come at us, but our away record has been very good this season.”

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