Buckle thrilled with Hatters’ second half display
Hatters boss Paul Buckle was left purring by Town’s second half display on Tuesday night as they were 3-2 winners over Cambridge United, writes Mike Simmonds.
Luton had fallen behind early on to Ricky Wellard’s long-range blast, before Janos Kovacs, Andre Gray and Dean Beckwith completed the turnaround in some style.
Buckle said: “We were made to work for it, but overall I’m absolutely thrilled.
“We want to win always, the players want to win, but I thought our performance levels were excellent and 3-2 wasn’t a fair reflection of the game in my opinion.
“We fell behind to a wonderful strike, you have to take your hat off to that.
“The good thing for me was we didn’t panic, our second half performance was excellent and roared on by an excellent crowd again, when we got 3-1 up, we could have scored more.”
Town’s second goal was a delightful piece of play as JJ O’Donnell won possession, before slipping a lovely pass into the path of Gray who smacked home.
Buckle continued: “The outstanding goal of the night was Gray’s as it was a wonderful weight of pass, Gray is never going to get caught, and slid it under the keeper.
“Gray playing on the shoulder off of (Scott) Rendell is a major threat.
“I think they (Cambridge) made the fatal mistake of letting Gray get in between them.
“It’s exciting, it’s chance after chance and this is how we want the players to play.”
Town’s defenders took the goalscoring plaudits on the night as both Kovacs and Beckwith netted their first goals of the season, with Buckle adding: “The 18-yard box is somewhere where you can’t be a shrinking violet.
“Beckwith and Janos both showed that and Carl Emberson and the staff worked very hard on set-plays.
“It’s something I’ve handed to them to say come on, lets make the most of these balls into the box.
“We look dangerous, we’ve worked on them in training and it just goes to show what happens if you work hard.”
Defending set-pieces is still a bugbear for the Town boss though as they were undone yet again with Rory McAuley headed home from a corner late on and it’s one of the many things Buckle will be working on in training.
He said: “It’s becoming a real headache for us all, but I said to the players in the dressing room, if we were the finished article by now, it would be quite boring coming in wouldn’t it every day.
“No way are we going to be the finished article just yet. We’ve got a huge amount to work on.
“People like Greg Taylor, he knows, it was obvious to see he (McAuley) lost Taylor in the box and Greg knows he can do better than that.
“It’s my job and the staff’s job to help the players and improve them, set-plays play a major role in that.”
Former Town winger Robbie Willmott was kept quiet throughout the match before he was substituted late on as Buckle added: “Robbie’s a threat and we all now about Robbie Willmott.
“He certainly didn’t let me down last season playing for me. We couldn’t agree a deal with him and he’s moved on to Cambridge.
“Taylor and (Lathaniel) Rowe-Turner never gave him an inch though and I felt we were on the front foot all night.”
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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