Buckle urges Town to use Wolves win as a springboard
Town boss Paul Buckle has urged his side to take the confidence gained from beating Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup into the remainder of their league campaign, writes Mike Simmonds.
After Saturday’s heroics, Hatters are back down to earth tomorrow evening with a home clash against the Blue Square Bet Premier’s bottom side Barrow.
Buckle said: “I want this to give the players confidence. It should give everyone confidence that we’re good enough to get on a run.
“One thing we’ve got to do is carry on where we’ve left off. The atmosphere was electric on Saturday and some of our play was electric as well.
“We know we’re capable, we’re on a really good run at home and we want to continue that.
“We played with a lot of freedom on Saturday, we let go, so that’s what I’m trying to get over to the players.
“We don’t have to put pressure on ourselves if we’re 0-0, if we’re 1-0 down even. We’ve got to keep believing, just try and forget maybe who we are at times and what the club is.
“Hopefully this will give us the lift that we need, the players have raised the bar now and we need to take that into our league form.”
Speaking about the test that Barrow, who have won just five Conference games all season will provide, Buckle continued: “It’s a tough game again, a tough league and I’ve been saying it all season, a hard division for us.
“It’s one where we’ve got a good opportunity to get three points tomorrow night and we’ve got to take it.”
Town fell nine points behind leaders Grimsby at the weekend, but they have the chance to cut the gap, although the Mariners and second placed Wrexham are both in action too.
Hatters have a number of games in hand over the top teams, but Buckle accepted that came with the territory of being involved in the FA Cup and FA Trophy.
He said: “It’s a tough one because it was put to me that it may be be better to go out of the Cup, but I can’t subscribe to that.
“It’s impossible for me to set a team up to be knocked out or an understrength team. I always said the squad we had here would be good enough and they’re proving me right.
“I hope we go through in the Trophy and put a good performance in at Norwich although at the same time I’m very aware we’ve fallen behind in games.
“But that’s not my fault and we’ve just got to try and deal with that somehow.”
Both Simon Ainge and Scott Neilson come back into contention after missing the Wolves victory as they were cup-tied but the Town manager doesn’t envisage making too many alterations.
He said: “I don’t have to change the team. When the players perform like that it makes it very easy for me and their peers because if you’re on the bench as a player, or in the stand and you see your peers perform like that, you know you’ve got a tough chance to get in the next game.
“The key is trying to get it on a regular basis in a league where we know we’re one of the fancied teams, a big club, but we’ve got to be able to handle that.”
Winger JJ O’Donnell will miss the game though after his broken nose suffered at the weekend, but striker Jon Shaw is fit despite his head injury and Jake Howells should be available.
Buckle said: “O’Donnell is very sore. His face is in a bit of mess but he’ll recover from that. Shaw will be okay, he’s got quite a nasty gash as well, so there will be minimal change really.
“Jake had a knock, but in all honesty, I think he’ll be the first to say he didn’t have the best of games at Woking.
“We struggled a bit conceding three goals and Jake was part of that. Unfortunately his hamstring was a bit tight, but he trained today which is great for me.
“Now (Greg) Taylor has got the shirt though, there’s competition for places and it’s game on for all the players.
“I want to see that from Greg Taylor every week. If I see that, he’s got the shirt, (Lathaniel) Rowe-Turner too. They all played on top of their game.
“Every manager or coach will tell you, you want your players playing at eight or nine out of 10.
“It’s unrecognisable, as when you see the mistakes from the previous game, individual errors, we didn’t make any on Saturday and it was good enough to beat a Championship side.
“So we’ve got to really focus on their job and if we do that, we’ve got a great chance.”
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