Buckle won’t be drawn into any knee-jerk reactions ahead of Tamworth trip
Hatters boss Paul Buckle won’t be making any knee jerk reactions to team selection ahead of tomorrow nights Blue Square Bet Premier visit to Tamworth, writes Mike Simmonds.
Town’s 4-1 hammering at Grimsby on Friday night means they have now gone three games without a win and conceded seven goals in their last two away trips.
Both centre halves Janos Kovacs and Dean Beckwith came in for criticism after the game at Blundell Park, while Kovacs was hauled off at the break once more, the second time that has happened in three matches.
Speaking to the press this afternoon, Buckle said: “I don’t want to be knee jerk, players are allowed to have a bad game, but we can’t afford to have too many more like Friday night.
“If you’d have seen our two centre halves against Wrexham, who’d have said they would have gone and defended like that on Friday night?
“So I have to give people a bit of a chance. We’ve been up and down, up and down, but for me to leave someone out of the team, I’ve got to be totally sure it’s right, because it’s not nice when you get left out, it’s the worst feeling in football.
“At the moment they (Beckwith and Kovacs) are hot and cold. What they’ve got to do is get their head down on the game, understand what’s required every game.
“Forget all the football, forget the attacking, we’ve got enough players to do that, but concentrate on doing their jobs and if they do that on regular basis, they’ll play.”
After viewing the game again, the boss was left in do doubt as to what was to blame for all four of Grimby’s goals and has made his defenders aware, in no uncertain terms, what is expected from them.
He continued: “Having looked at the whole thing, it is individual errors and we’ve got to cut that out.
“The centre halves at the club have got to stand up and be counted. When any ball comes into our 18-yard box they’ve got to deal with it.
“I’m not really asking for anything weird and wonderful, I’m just asking people to get their head on the ball, get their head in where it hurts and start being nasty.
“Stop dipping a toe or dipping your head in, get your head right in there, clear your lines and then we’ve got enough firepower and legs in midfield to go and cause teams problems.”
One player who might well feature against the Lambs is Lathaniel Rowe-Turner, who hasn’t started the last three matches after being surprisingly dropped from the side who beat Cambridge United 3-2.
Buckle said: “Rowe-Turner will have a massive chance of playing because when he plays he’s done very well.
“Sometimes Snoop isn’t too easy on the eye with the ball, but one thing as a defender, he’s A1.
“I think that competition for places is a big thing in football and we’ve been up and down with our performances, especially in defence.
“They boys know that, I’ve spoken to all the defenders this morning. We’ve scored enough goals and I always feel we can score goals, but we need to start keeping clean sheets.”
Just on how they go about doing such a thing, Buckle added: “There is a way to keep clean sheets and that’s doing the basics right. I don’t think anyone’s really done anything weird and wonderful to score goals against us.
“The one I can remember is against Cambridge in the top corner but other than that, we really have made life difficult for ourselves.
“I think for long spells in games, even against Grimsby, we have a lot of the ball, so maybe we need to concentrate more on concentration levels, being alive and being ready for when teams attack us because we haven’t had to defend too many attacks in games but we’ve conceded goals.
“We’ve worked hard this morning in training and people like Kovacs and Beckwith, the centre halves, that’s where your steel comes from, the backbone and they have to deal with balls into the box at this level.
“No matter how you do it, by hook or by crook, and we didn’t do that and it cost me, the team, everyone, and they know that.
“They didn’t do it at Alfreton either, they defended poorly, so it’s up to them now, they are the ones who can do it, go and keep clean sheets.
“It’s no good looking elsewhere, it’s up to them, they’re honest enough and they’ll be judged on that.”
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