Town boss unsurprised by Lincoln’s poor start to life in the Conference

LUTON Town boss Gary Brabin is not surprised by tomorrow’s opponents Lincoln City’s poor start to life in the Blue Square Bet Premier, writes Mike Simmonds.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 5th December 2011, 1:46 pm

After dropping out of the Football League last season, the Imps are currently 19th in the table, just three points above the relegation zone.

When asked if he had been bewildered by Lincoln’s poor return so far, Brabin said: “Not at all. I think one of the biggest mistakes people make is not giving this league enough respect.

“Just because you’ve not come across some of the teams in the league before doesn’t mean that they’re going to be easy and I think people say, yes we understand that, but I don’t think they fully understand it.

“We’re in our third season in this league and we’re probably just getting to grips that it is tough and you can’t take it lightly. You’ve got to be tuned in every single game.”

Lincoln have made strides to turn their fortunes around, sacking Steve Tilson in October and appointing former Mansfield boss David Holdsworth as his replacement.

Brabin continued: “They’ve had a change round in manager and changed how they play a little bit.

“He knows the league inside out, he’s got his job to do there, but we’ll focus on ourselves and if we can build on our performance from the other day, we’ll be delighted with that.

“I keep saying first and foremost though, I want to concentrate on ourselves. I’m delighted with the way things are going, we just need a little bit of consistency to click into place and we need to start winning games.”

Hatters triumphed 1-0 in the match at Kenilworth Road back in September, when Stuart Fleetwood scored a late winner after Town played 70 minutes with 10 men after Dean Beckwith was sent off in a clash with Kyle Perry.

Brabin said: “It was a good win, especially going down to 10 men, it was a good three points, but that’s gone now.

“It’s a different manager, a different team and a different challenge for us, but one that we’re all looking forward too.

“Kyle Perry, he’s a hustler and a bustler. He causes problems, but again I think the big thing we’ve got to do is concentrate on ourselves.

“If we can produce perfomances like we did on Saturday (against Cheltenham), be tight at the back, ruthless in the other box, then I’ll be happy.”

On the injury front, striker Amari Morgan-Smith remains out, as does Ed Asafu-Adjaye, but Stoke loanee Ryan Brunt and recent acqusition Greg Taylor, who were both cup-tied on Saturday, are back in the frame.

Brabin said: “Amari is still out, which is a loss, but when we’ve been short of seven or eight, even nine players, with only one out we can only count our blessings.

“We’re hoping in the next week or two he should be back training with us.

“Both Ryan and Greg were disappointed to have missed out on Saturday. That’s what we keep asking for, players to be disappointed for missing out on their places, and there’s going to be more players disappointed now.”

Although a host of teams have come to Kenilworth Road this season with the single aim of frustrating Luton’s pattern of play, Brabin isn’t going to be mirroring those tactics at Sincil Bank tomorrow night.

He said: “We don’t play like that. We want to be solid at the back but I want us to be an attacking side and play football to try and win football matches.

“We want to win football matches in the right way, with a lot of energy and a lot of enthusiasm.

“We’re not just the type of people who want to win games by any means, which in some ways is an easier way of getting success.

“We want to play good football, we’ve got good players and it’s important players are enjoying their football and fans are enjoying the football too. It’s something we’re striving to do.”

The boss is also hopeful of another fine away following in midweek too as he continued: “The away fans have been fantastic, as have the home fans.

“It is good to get a good backing following you and if they can be as positive as they were on Saturday, it really gives you a big lift.”

Once the final whistle is blown at Lincoln, it will be the halfway stage of the season and although a Luton success could see them trail the summit by just six points, Brabin knows improvement is needed.

He added: “I’m not really satisfied in terms of points. We’re certainly behind what we set ourselves points wise.

“It’s disappointing that we’re so far away from the top two although it’s important that we’re in and around the pack.

“Leagues aren’t won and lost in November and December, we’re aware of that, but were not shirking away from that and we’re disappointed we haven’t more points.”

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