Skipper Antwi calls for a team of Hatters captains

NATURAL leader Will Antwi was pleased to lead the Hatters out at Mansfield Town on Tuesday night – but lamented not getting a better result than the 1-1 draw at Field Mill, writes Mark Wood.)

Thursday, 25th August 2011, 2:48 pm

He called on all of Town’s players to put in skipper-like shows no matter who has the armband.

Summer signing Antwi said: “I’ve never been one who needed an armband to be involved on the pitch and say what I’ve got to say.

“It’s a pleasant surprise.I’ve been captain at Aldershot, Wycombe and Dagenham. The most important thing is with or without the band, all 11 players have to play like captains.”

On his skipper for the night, manager Gary Brabin added: “I just felt he was our natural leader. He was fit and scored the equaliser and I was delighted with that. I thought he was the obvious choice.”

But the 6ft 1ins Ghanaian was disappointed Town couldn’t force victory.

He said: I would have preferred a better result. We didn’t quite put in the performance we needed in the first half. The most important thing is to get three points and my aim is the next game and hopefully we can on Saturday.

“We haven’t started well the last few games. We haven’t played at the tempo we are capable of.

“We could have been two to three up and going a goal down we are making it difficult for ourselves.

“We have to go above and beyond when we could have won this game without all the hassle.

“Someone picks the ball up and puts it in the top corner from 25 yards, you have to take it on the chin.

“We came back and won the second half which was well earned from the boys.”

Antwi equalised with a powerful second half header from Jake Howells’ free-kick and he praised the delivery, saying: “It was a great ball in. Thankfully it came my way and I gave it my best shot. Thankfully I scored but it’s easily forgotten. Perhaps we need to be more clinical, but I’m sure it will come.

“We are not quite where we need to be. We got a good score on Saturday but we will get better and kick on and will surprise people in a little while when we get it all together.”

Despite having an array of players out injured, Antwi believes Town’s new-look defence is gelling nicely and Luton are defending well as a team. He continued: “They had the big man up front I had to deal with and I thought we defended well as a team and showed a lot of grit.

“We are forming a great unit there. It’s not just one player that’s able to defend by themselves.

“We are slowly and surely learning to play with each other and we will only get better.

“We haven’t achieved two thirds of our potential. We need to keep working too, in and out of training to make a better unit.”

Antwi also wants to be a force at both ends, saying: “We all have personal targets, I’m sure as I’m just trying to be as solid as I can in our box and be a nuisance in their box.

“Scoring a few and chipping in as a centre-half helps. The most important thing for me is a clean sheet and I will be looking for that on Saturday like every week.

“If you can do that you’ve got an 80 per cent chance of winning the game.”

And, with a number of Town’s stars on the comeback trail from injury, Antwi believes it can only help their chances of promotion. He added: “I think every game we can and should win. I’m glad that we have a good enough squad and have great players waiting to come in so that when we do have a few injuries we can give it a good enough fight.

“I’m looking forward to some competition and we’ve all got to fight for our places. What we want is for Luton Town Football Club to get promoted.”