Hayrettin hails Town’s top-of-the-table standing after scintillating showing

Top-of-the-league Hatters ended 2013 on a high as they reached the Skrill Premier summit for the first time this season following their 6-0 demolition of promotion rivals Kidderminster Harriers yesterday, writes Mark Wood.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 29th December 2013, 12:00 pm
Luton Town v Kidderminster Harriers. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 01.
Luton Town v Kidderminster Harriers. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 01.

First team coach Hakan Hayretting was delighted by the performance and their newly-won position, but was keen not to get ahead of himself.

He said: “It was very, very pleasing, very encouraging. We said at half time wouldn’t it be nice if we went into 2014 as leaders and that’s exactly where we are and we’ve got an ethos and the philosophy and the theory, we’ve got to stick to it, and one of them is one game at a time.

“It’s a great place to be, but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. Like we said, one game at a time, we’ve installed the right qualities in our players to make sure they know what’s required and we can only take it a game at a time.

“Focus on ourselves, nobody else, give credit to Kidderminster, they made it very difficult for us first half, but we showed our class in the second.

“Monday morning, back to work, focus and ready for the Barnet game.”

It was Town’s first game since Jonathan Smith’s terrible double leg break in the victory at Barnet and Town did their missing team-mate proud as they were able to put his loss to one side.

Hayrettin continued: “They are professional footballers and professional footballers have got a duty to the club and to the supporters to go out and do the best they can and they did that today.

“They’re capable. We know they’re capable, we work very, very hard, we play the way we train, we train the way we play, whatever way you way you want to put it, and they’re a credit to the club and they fully deserve their victory.”

Luton played some scintillating stuff on the day as they ran riot against hapless Harriers and Hayrettin felt the quality of Town’s football belied the division they are playing in.

“You can’t ask for no more, they put the little dots on the i’s and crossed the t’s and so they were fantastic,” he said.

“I see a game today and I see some passing that I thought was too good to grace this level, but on any given day you can play well, you can play bad, today we will take all the applause but, as I said, Monday morning we will go back to work getting ready for the Barnet game which is going to be another massive game for the football club and we’ll go from there.

“These boys here have now got this in abundance, this team spirit, this never-say-die attitude, this togetherness, all the qualities that you need to win a league or competition, they’ve got that and we’ve just got to keep guiding them in the right direction with the gaffer to make sure they are ready for every game.

“When they cross that white line we know what they’re going to get.”

Kidderminster had competed well in the first half, with keeper Mark Tyler producing a brilliant stop to deny Joe Lolley with the score goalless.

But the game completely swayed in Town’s direction when Chey Dunkley was dismissed for a professional foul on Paul Benson early in the second half.

Hayrettin continued: “Is it a sending off, is it not a sending off? I don’t really know, but what I do know is if he didn’t bring him down we would have scored and the game would have changed then.

“And also Mark Tyler made one great save in the first half and one in the second half, kept his team in it.

“But the movement and the passing and the pressing, because we play at a high tempo, they couldn’t live with us, couldn’t live with us, and that’s the most important thing for us to play a certain way.

“Like I said before the personnel may change, but the theory and philosophy of what we do doesn’t and the next person that comes in has that same effect and they did it again.”

Some of the goals on the day were simply outstanding, but it was the sixth, and Luke Guttridge’s second, that left Hayrettin purring.

“I can’t even tell you which one was the best goal, but I think the one that Gutts got - the one-touch movement...” he said.

“I’m right behind Benno’s (Paul Benson) header and he just hung there for a few seconds and in the top corner.

“Unbelievable, but like I said, Monday morning we’ll go in, we’ll regroup, we’ll think about what we’ve got to do and how we’ve got to do it, and just focus on what we have to do and not worry about anything else now.

“But it’s nice that this group of players that the manager’s put together are top of the league and are going to be top of the league 2014, and hopefully stay there.”

With the home ends sold out and Kenilworth Road packed to the rafters with a season’s high attendance of 8,488, Hayrettin relished the atmosphere.

He said: “This place today was rocking and I hope it continues to be like that for a long time.

“But Monday morning, back to work, one game at a time like we say and away we go again.”

But with the game now done, Hayrettin was keen to focus on the future with the return visit of Barnet to Kenilworth Road on New Year’s Day.

He added: “Like I said before, Monday morning we’ll go in, we’ll regroup we will sit down with the gaffer and we’ll go through bits and pieces.

“It’s very important now we try and do the right things for the players and Dave Richardson, Terry Harris and the gaffer will talk and we’ll make decisions on what’s going to be right.”