Keane relishes underdogs tag
HOPE rather than expectation can drive together Town on to Wembley, according to talismanic midfielder Keith Keane, writes Mark Wood.
Having snuck into the play-off he believes everyone will be pulling in the same direction as underdogs Luton look to upset Wrexham.
He said: “The pressure will still be on us because it’s a big club and we’ve got good players, we’ve got a good team.
“But I sense it will be more with a hope of going up rather than an expectancy. And sometimes that can bring everyone together.
“When you’re hoping, even though everyone is normally behind you, there’s more togetherness.
Setchell feels Bedford Town deserved their opening point at Stratford
Clubs all set for big kick-off as Bedford Town, Ampthill Town and Real Bedford begin campaigns
Bedford's women cricketers make it three wins in a row
Ampthill hit six to get the season off and running in style
TK Maxx launches free gift card giveaway to celebrate summer of Great British Sport
“There’s more a hope than an expectancy to play well.
“No-one’s going to care if you play well as long as we get the result.
“Hopefully we can pull together and get a result. That’s all that matters in football.”
Town have twice tasted play-off disappointment in the last two years and the 25-year-old believes this is the toughest play-offs yet.
He continued: “Mansfield are the most in-form team in the league. They are playing really well and scoring a lot of goals.
“Wrexham is one of the toughest grounds to go away to and get a result. And then you’ve even got York.
“Personally, this year, I think if you’re in the play-offs it will be the hardest play-offs we’ve had in the last three years.
“I think any one of those teams could win it. It doesn’t matter who you play it’s going to be a really tough game.”
And having experienced the joy of winning at Wembley in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy three years ago, Keane is desperate for a repeat.
He added: “Wembley’s got to be up there as one of the best stadiums in the world.
“People say it was only the JPT, but I can honestly say playing at Wembley is one of the best days of your life as a footballer.
“It was a great achievement for myself. And to get there again and play in a play-off final (would be great).
“As everyone says, going up in a play-off final is better than winning the league and that is the truth. But it is the hardest way to go up.
“If we get to Wembley I think a lot of people will remember the JPT so I think we will get a lot of following again.
“It will be incredibly hard getting to the final.
“I try and stress to the lads you don’t realise how special it is playing there until you’ve played there.
“Everyone knows it’s a great occasion and everyone says they would love to play there but you don’t realise how much.
“And you really want to play there again once you’ve played there, especially with 40,000 Luton fans, that’s out of this world, it’s the best feeling in the world.
“It’s probably one of the best days of my career so far and I would love to repeat that.”
To read a special four page play-off preview, see the Luton News/Dunstable Gazette on sale now, while for all the latest Luton Town FC news, reports, stats, player profiles, live match updates, prediction table and a complete fixture list, visit our Hatters Microsite.