Hatters ready for Romans’ fireworks

HATTERS fans will be hoping for more ‘fireworks’ when Town travel to Bath City’s Twerton Park stadium tomorrow night, writes Mark Wood.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 19th September 2011, 4:00 pm

Last year The Romans welcomed both teams with a pyrotechnics display and Luton chief Gary Brabin is expecting another tough test despite the fact Bath are currently bottom of the Blue Square Bet Premier.

He said: “You look at Bath who are bottom and all the reports we’ve had are they are a good side.

“It was a tight game last year and we expect another this year.

“We are definitely expecting a tough game. The last time we were there there were fireworks going off and a big carnival situation and like every team we play they will be up for it.”

Brabin had words of praise for Bath boss Adie Britton and former charge Lee Phillips.

On Britton he said: “He has done well and has got a tight-knit group and they’ve got a style of play they conform to and works for them.”

While about former charge Phillips, he continued: “He has done well for them. They’ve got a few good players at the club and we have got to be wary of their strengths and concentrate on ourselves.”

Twerton Park will also be a difficult venue, with Brabin conceding: “We are going to have to get used to all that.

“We are not going to have the luxury of playing in front of 6,500 people at Kenilworth Road each week.”

It’s the first of two long away trips for the Hatters who face the gruelling trip to York City on Saturday for what’s sure to be a feisty clash.

Brabin said: “We’ve made our plans for the travelling arrangements. In terms of where everything is channelled, it’s tomorrow’s trip to Bath.

“I think people would rather play football matches. As a player you would rather play football matches.

“I’m sure everyone gets the same sort of treatment at some stage in the season.

“You’ve got to focus on what you are good at.”

Having won three games on the trot and gone nine unbeaten, Town currently sit second in the Blue Square Bet Premier, just one point off top spot.

But Brabin isn’t interested in records or league tables just yet.

He said: “League tables and records I don’t look for, at the moment I’m concentrating on each day as it comes.

“It’s the day to day stuff, there’s a good work ethic at the club.

“That’s (tables and records) not what’s driving me at the moment, it’s just getting another win tomorrow that’s driving me on.

“Leagues aren’t won and lost at this point of the season.

“I just want the lads to get what they deserve which is winning matches.”

And he had words of praise for creative midfielder John Paul Kissock who came off the bench to set the dangerous Stuart Fleetwood up for the winner on Saturday, who he also hailed.

“We know what Stuart’s capable of and shown it in the last few games. He has played well the last few games and is enjoying his football,” Brabin said.

“It’s important the lads are enjoying their football and Stuart’s certainly doing that.

“We all know what JP’s capable of. That little bit of magic in the box has carved a goal open for us.”

Fleetwood’s goal gave the Hatters a 1-0 victory over Lincoln and Brabin thinks the Imps are in a false position.

He said: “We played Lincoln on Saturday that were third or fourth from bottom.

“I think they are in a false position and will turn that around and will be a stronger force after Chistmas.”

And he revealed that recent signing Collin Samuel had been set for his debut on Saturday prior to Dean Beckwith’s sending off.

He said: “Collin hasn’t played many games, we’ve brought him here for his experience and gives us something a bit different.

“He has had a mini pre-season and in training he looks a little bit sharper.

“Before the game we had planned on using him but with the sending off it wasn’t possible.

“But he is professional enough to wait his turn.”

Samuel is one of a number of players that the Hatters have drafted in since last season’s heartbreaking play-off final penalty shoot-out defeat to AFC Wimbledon at the City of Manchester Stadium.

And despite not having wanted to sign so many fresh faces, Brabin is pleased with the way they’ve bedded in and can’t wait to have a fully-fit and competitive squad to choose from.

He added: “I made a statement I didn’t want to bring too many players into the club.

“Due to the situation we have off the field we’ve had to bring in more people than we wished for.

“They’ve had to come in and do a job for us and they’ve certainly done that and we are looking forward to when they are fit and we’ve got good competition for places.

“The last three games we’ve shown a lot of character, especially going down to 10 men in the last two games and it was a very pleasing result on Saturday.

“I’m very mindful of every member of the squad. I take a lot of time out to consider every player which is why I’ve got some of the younger players out at the moment gaining experience which will be good for them.

“Hopefully we will have a good strong squad of players. It’s my decision to pick the 11/16 players on a Tuesday or Saturday.

“We have just got to concentrate on ourselves. We are not concentrating too much on the league at the moment. It’s 11 or 12 games before it takes a bit of shape.”