Shaw looks for a way out of headband promise

Stitched-up Hatters hero Jon Shaw is looking for a way out of wearing a headband every week after netting a hat-trick in Luton’s 6-1 defeat of Barrow on Tuesday night, writes Mark Wood.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 10th January 2013, 10:00 am

Town were in rampant mood against the division’s bottom club as Shaw shone with his treble, despite sporting four stitches on his bandaged head, suffered during Saturday’s glorious 1-0 FA Cup win over Championship Wolves.

And he’s now looking for a way out of an unwise promise before the game, which could lead him to become the most famous Hatter to don a headband on a regular basis since Town’s League Cup winning captain Steve Foster.

On whether it could become a regular addition to his wardrobe, the 29-year-old striker, said: “I very much doubt it. I made the mistake before the game of saying if I scored a hat-trick I will have to wear it every week. So I’ve got to try and wheedle my way out of it a little bit, because I still don’t think it does much for me.”

And before the club’s shop get any ideas, he said: “The Jon Shaw headband? I think I might have to score a few more goals to sell a few more of them!”

On whether he had ever been a doubt due to his head injury, Shaw continued: “Doc (Paul) Dealey slammed four in there at half time to get me back out in the second half against Wolves, which I’m grateful for.

“Some people tell me I shouldn’t be so grateful with the way it’s going to look when it’s finished, but scars are part and parcel.

“It’s been part of my game where I’ve jumped for headers my entire career and took a few elbows, had a few cuts, a few scars, but I was happy obviously Saturday it didn’t end my game, I got to carry on playing.

“Tonight we strapped it up again, it’s not really an issue for me to be honest.

“After going out there and playing the second half on Saturday when it was still fresh, there was no way I weren’t going to put myself up for selection today.

“It’s a decent cut, it’s a little bit sore, but you never really play fully fresh. So a little niggle on your head takes away from your other body aches.”

Shaw was delighted with his hat-trick haul and also set home debutant Scott Neilson up for his early opener.

“I’ll be happy to claim three goals and an assist,” he said. “It’s come off the post quite quick and I’ve just tried to turn it towards goal and it were going wide.

“To be honest he’s done brilliant to get his studs on it, cos he’s only a short little guy... I’m just so happy to see it go in and it got us off to a great start.

“I’ve obviously scored a few goals, but I think a hat-trick kicks on your tally a little bit so it’s been a good night.”

It means Luton’s quartet of frontline strikers have now scored 40 goals between them this term, much to Shaw’s delight.

Shaw, who now has nine to his name despite an injury-hit season, said: “I think we worked it out it’s 40 between us already, which again, if you’ve only got two strikers you’d be happy to get 40 at the end of the season, with maybe 20 each.

“But to have 40 between the lot of us is fantastic. It doesn’t matter who’s playing, the quality’s there and the lads trust each other, so whoever’s playing they are going to get chances like they are tonight and you can’t really grumble at things like that.

“We still work quite a lot with the physios. Simon (Parsell) has me bent over the tables wrapping me round things, but it’s nice to finally get a run without the niggles and the injuries and things like that.

“We’ve had a few formation changes and tonight it shows we stick balls in the box and I’m really enjoying running in, especially when you’ve got people like Greg Taylor and Andre Gray, they cause havoc. So it’s been a good night.”

The big win also helped to double Town’s positive goal difference to 10, but Shaw was unconcerned.

He said: “I think it looks worse than it means at the minute, especially in our league.

“The team that wins it, never wins it on goal difference. The team that’s more consistent picks up the most points and puts that run together, they’re the team that run away with it.

“And that’s what we want. If we end up 20 goals behind everybody else, but we win the league, we’re not really going to care.

“If we win 1-0 for the rest of the season and get a few nil-nils we’re happy.

“We want to shut the back door, stop the goals leaking and then we can show what we can do going forward like we did tonight.

“These nights are bonuses, fantastic to be a part of and, at the same time, any win’s a win.”

Shaw was also relieved that they had been able to follow up the fantastic win over Wolves, and that it wasn’t a case of after the Lord Mayor’s Show.

“I think a few people probably looked at it tonight as potentially a banana skin, back to the league against a side struggling a little bit,” he said. “They’ll come and work hard, but I think the early goal settles us.

“And professionally the lads put a great shift in again. Shown a real great work ethic and I think that’s the root of what success we’ve had this season.

“We really do work hard, the staff demand it, the players demand it of each other and tonight it showed. We were ruthless, we worked hard, and the quality showed.”

Manager Paul Buckle was delighted for Shaw, after the big striker had struggled with injury earlier in the season.

He added: “Jon Shaw epitomised the reason why I brought him to the club tonight.

“He’s got a big gash in his face, but you wouldn’t have thought that the way he put himself about.

“And to round it off with a hat-trick, I’m absolutely thrilled for him, delighted for him, because we know he can score the goals.

“You will not find me a more honest player anywhere than Jon Shaw.

“His season’s been littered with injury and it’s been tough for him to get a run of games.

“The key is to keep him on the pitch now, because he’s great in both boxes.

“He’s playing tonight with a gaping gash in his head, and you wouldn’t have thought it. He’s brave, he’s strong and he’s coming good at the right time which is brilliant for me and for him.”