Hatters must not ‘self-destruct’ after City defeat

HAVING crashed out of the FA Trophy it’s important the Hatters don’t now press the ‘self-destruct button’ according to boss Gary Brabin, writes Mark Wood.

The Hatters chief has the unenviable task of picking his troops up for Tuesday’s game at Forest Green Rovers following Saturday’s 1-1 draw with York - City’s equaliser coming in the 90th minute as they destroyed Town’s Wembley dreams.

He said: “I think every game, every week is significant. We are still on course for promotion and the last thing we want to do is press the self-destruct button.

“No-one’s going to make it easy for us but we are still on course. There’s 10 games for us to get the right results we need and find the form we need and let’s finish the job off.

“We’ve got to find our own form and think we have done of late. I thought Darlington away was quite disappointing in terms of the result.

“We certainly had more in the tank, and I thought the Barrow away game was disappointing but other than that I think we’ve been on course and are playing some decent stuff.

“In this game you’ve just got to get used to up and downs. I can’t describe to you the feeling after Saturday because we all genuinely felt going into the game we were going to go to Wembley.

“I think that showed in the performance and I thought there was a fantastic atmosphere around the ground and we want more of that.

“I think a lot of people’s hopes were up and when you are deflated after the final whistle there’s going to be a lot of heads down and what could have beens.

“In this game you’ve just got to pick yourself up, dust yourself down and get on with it.

“The beauty of it is there’s a game coming round so quick so you don’t have time to feel sorry for yourself.

“I’ve spoken to a few of the lads over the weekend as well just to see how they are feeling and I think everyone feels the same.

“Everyone was delighted with the togetherness and the spirit and the performance.

“I just felt we missed that killer goal. The next goal was going to be important and for me up to the last minute there looked like there was only going to be one team that was going to do that.

“That’s hard to take but we’ve got to take the pluses from it.

“We’ve come off that good performance Saturday and look strong in terms of squad depth now as we have the three lads that have been very stop-start of late back in the group now from hereon in and we’ve got to cement a play-off place.”

And having seen their Wembley dreams vanish Brabin is adamant their promotion hopes shouldn’t go the same way.

He added: “Obviously it wasn’t a great day in terms of we were so close to getting to Wembley and it wasn’t to be.

“We’ve had to dust ourselves down and we’ve had a focus that has been our number one aim since the start of the season and that’s to be promoted.

“We have got to build from the disappointment and take the positives from it, there were a lot of positives from the game.

“I thought the first half was as well as we’ve played for the last couple of months.

“I thought it was a fantastic atmosphere. I thought there were a lot of pluses and we need to be capitalising on the chances we create and it’s not the first time we’ve fallen for the sucker punch and they’ve got a last minute equaliser, which has took them to Wembley.

“I think it is disappointing. Seeing the faces on the lads after the game because they know we’ve done enough.

“If you look at it cruelly it was probably lost in the first leg when we’ve gone down 1-0 and were always chasing it a little bit.

“I think over the two games we’ve certainly shown a lot of spirit and shown we are a good footballing side.

“When we play against the top sides one thing we need to grasp is we need to take our chances.

“Sometimes when we get in the final third we are turning down chances to hit the target and I think we’ve suffered because of that.”