Defeat is a crossroads for young Hatters says Driver
Hatters youth team boss Paul Driver couldn’t hide his disappointment as Luton’s FA Youth Cup run came to an end with a 3-0 defeat against Stevenage at Broadhall Way on Tuesday, writes Mark Wood.
Town missed a host of chances as clinical Boro took theirs, with Driver saying: “It’s difficult because it’s a big thing for us all. For the staff you’ve got the chance to possibly play at the MK Dons next round and we would fancy ourselves against them and then whoever knows.
“It will be more disappointing when they draw Man United in the third round or something, but you’ve got to win your games and they took their chances and the last time I looked it was goals that won football matches, not possession and chances.”
It was all the harder to take as Luton missed numerous chances, as Driver continued: “Very unfortunate on the night. We think level game at half time with chances.
“Second half for 25 minutes we’ve absolutely murdered them, but we haven’t finished.
“We’ve changed the shape up a little bit at half time with a different emphasis on Zane (Banton) pushing higher up and it worked. But ultimately we’ve lost because we haven’t finished our chances and that’s kind of becoming a trend.
“We just need to work on that, talk about it, work with the boys individually, keep creating the chances and sooner or later someone will take a battering.”
The defeat marks a watershed moment in the season as Driver continued: “Unfortunately, certainly for the second year boys, that’s the big end of their season.
“Obviously they’ve still got the pros and that to chase, but in terms of the team that’s the end for them. So it’s a crossroads if you like in the season, we’ve just got to use the positives out of the game.
“The fact that we think we’ve worked out the best way we can play and take that and try and push on in the league. And seven out of that starting 11 and the entire bench can play in this competition next year.
“And that for me is the big thing, you are working with seven first years you are going to get games like that.
“But sooner or later when we get our shooting boots on we will start picking points up and scoring goals hopefully.”
Driver was particularly buoyed by the youthfulness of Town’s team, adding: “You always look at that, you look at the second year boys. I thought Jerome (Jibodu), Brett (Longden), Zane, Zac (Stephens) tremendous at the back. And again, we’ve not had the proper back four in place all season until today, which is good.
“I thought Jordan Davis did himself no harm in the second half particularly. You’ve got seven lads in there from the starting line-up that will be involved in the competition next year as well as all the outfielders on the bench.”