Town boss: We must Buckle up defending at set-pieces

DEFENDING set-pieces is new Hatters boss Paul Buckle’s number one priority on the training ground this week, writes Mike Simmonds.

Thursday, 12th April 2012, 9:00 am

Four out of the last five goals Luton have conceded have been from free-kicks into the box, while the other was a penalty, and the manager knows it has to stop.

He said: “There was no unlucky about it, they were poor goals. It reared its ugly head again from the Braintree game, where it was three set-plays.

“We’ve got to defend the box a lot better. That comes from feeling a bit sorry for yourself and I think we dragged back into that.

“There was nothing really powderpuff about us apart from the two set-plays. We’ve got to be solid as they (Hayes & Yeading) didn’t have that many chances but the two balls they put in the box ended up in the back of the net.

“We’ve got to cut that out, although I’m delighted that that’s all I’ve got to really concentrate on between now and Saturday.”

If players don’t maintain their stanards in training though, it will be to their detriment though, as Buckle continued. “It’s vital to train at tempo and train at realism.

“I did a set-play session and one of the chaps decided he was going to have a laugh about it. He was told in no uncertain terms if that’s the way he wants to train and think about things he won’t be here very long.

“So I got a nice call from him apologising which was great. We’ve got to be professional, spot on, get our training right, get our lives right and then we may achieve something.

“It’s so hard to get promotion and in the next few weeks, I’m going to drive everyone on to get something for us.”

Buckle had worked his players hard on Easter Sunday too, and he believes it was absolutely vital to the squad’s 4-2 success against Hayes & Yeading, as he said: “It was meant to be a day off, but we trained hard.

“I was wary of the players legs, but I took a gamble as we were so bad at Braintree, we couldn’t waste a moment.

“I’m being very careful that I’m not harmful to anything that’s gone before and want to be respectful of that, but you’ve got to be fit enough to go for 90 or 95 minutes, end of story.

“Then you can achieve that skill, that technical ability time and time again, rather than in fits and starts.

“I know how I wanted to train as a player. I’ve had that in the sides I’ve trained and I didn’t feel I needed to change that coming to Luton.

“We were organised, our shape was a lot better and there wasn’t as many gaps and holes as there were at Braintree.”

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