1FITG mid-season review: Luton
Yesterday we gave you some thoughts on Liverpool’s season so far. Today @miller179 gives his thoughts on a team that’s actually still in the FA Cup – Luton Town.
1. So what are your thoughts on Luton’s season so far?
Apart from the cup run, it’s been disappointing if I’m honest. Poor performances and losing leads has been the theme of our season so far. The fans deserve more. This is our 4th season at this level and the players still seem unsure of what this league is about - and how to consistently win games. In recent weeks, manager Paul Buckle seems to have adopted a harsher, more aggressive, attitude – highlighting individual errors in the press. Do I agree with that? I’m not too sure, but if it leads to an upturn in our performances then I’m all for it. The apologists will point to the fact that we have 3 games in hand. That means nothing without winning them. With 2 games a week now until the end of the season, we’re going to have to be at our very best to win the league - which looks unlikely for now. On the positive side, we seem to have the formation right. Buckle finally seems set on a 4-4-2, which I think is the right decision for the players that we have, and for the balance of the team. In any other year with our current points total we would be completely out of it, but we’re not, no one is running away with it, and we still have a chance - which is incredible really considering our form and some of our results this season.
2. How are you feeling about your chances in the FA cup this season - is it a cup Luton want to progress in, and will Buckle prioritise the league?
Every Luton fan and Paul Buckle knows the priority is the league. I would give up that result against Norwich for an extra 6 points in the league within a heartbeat. But if we progress that’s great for us financially, and raises the profile of the club. If you had of asked me before the Norwich game would we win, I would have said categorically no. I thought Norwich would be too strong, but this is the FA Cup, anything can happen. We’ve got a good chance especially as we’re at home, and I’m sure Millwall will come out and go for it, which in turn is better for us. It suits us if the game is open.
3. Has Buckle improved Luton’s style of play? Do you feel you can gain promotion under his management, and survive in league two?
The style of play is improving. In all fairness we’ve never played long-ball/hoof football, but playing 4-3-3 in my opinion made us too easy to open up. We’ve now settled on a 4-4-2, which hopefully means we’re more solid. We’re still massively susceptible to set pieces - the amount of goals we concede from set pieces is shambolic. I still wince when the opposing team has a free kick or corner because you just know there is a high likelihood of them scoring. I think we can gain promotion under Buckle, but its going to be through the playoffs. If we did do it this year we would definitely have a good chance of one of those playoff spots in League 2.
4. The football league vultures will be circling if Luton don’t achieve promotion this season. Which player are you most afraid of losing in the summer?
Andre Gray is the player that stands out. He’s still young, but he’s getting better every game he plays. There’s so much potential, he could play L1 quite easily in my opinion. He’s just signed an extension to his contract which should make it harder for anyone to sign him, but realistically if we don’t go up and a Championship/L1 club comes in with the right money, I’m sure he could be on his way.
5. Predicted finish in the conference this season?
Well, promotion is the one and only thing I care about. I couldn’t care less how we do it. We won’t win it, but I predict us to finish 3rd, win in the play offs, and then finally win the final. Luton never seem do it the easy way, there’s always drama, but I really do feel as long if we can get in those play off places we can definitely beat anyone over 2 legs. And then you hope to god we wouldn’t be cursed of possibly being the only team to lose a playoff final in 3 consecutive seasons.