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14 December 2012

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Boss on Trophy trip

If there’s one thing the Town needed to work on after Tuesday’s disappointing 5-2 defeat to Newport it’s defending.

With a tricky trip to Matlock next up that’s precisely what boss Paul Buckle told the press the Hatters have been working on since that grim night in South Wales.

However frustrating the defeat was, moving on is the next stage - and the Town manager was keen to focus on Saturday’s game with the Gladiators.

 “When you get beat it’s not a nice feeling but the biggest thing for me is not to dwell on it,” Buckle told the press on Thursday.

“We practise hard all week and we've done well of late, the other night we let ourselves down so we move on quickly. 

“The key in football is not to mope around and certainly today we've been back on it and we look forward to the game Saturday now.”

In the last round the Hatters cruised to a comfortable 3-1 replay win over Dorchester Town with many key first-team players rested for the clash. 

And despite that comprehensive triumph and Tuesday night's defeat, Buckle is undecided on which side to select ahead of the trip to Matlock.

“I'll give myself Thursday and Friday to have a think about that one,” explained the boss.

“I'm tempted to play a really strong team, although if I make changes it's still a strong team. I’ll have a think about it and make a decision over the next few days as to whether I’ll make changes like I did for the last trophy game or whether I will field a similar side to the one in league games.”

Despite the opposition heading into the game as huge underdogs, the Town boss is taking no chances on his side's approach and will respect their opponents because of the threat they pose.

“Every time a team plays Luton there's a chance of a scalp,” said Buckle.

“We know we're a big club at this level, but we've been in good shape of late so we need to get back to doing the basics well and we need to turn up there and show really what we're all about.”

With a challenging period ahead for the Hatters, culminating in the FA Cup tie against Wolves on January 5, it will test the squad's resolve but Buckle insists that their focus remains on the task in front instead of looking ahead to distant fixtures.

“Primary focus has to be on the next game,” said Buckle.

“You really are running the risk of taking your eye off the ball if you look to far ahead, we haven't done that we've concentrated on the next game and its served us well.

“As I say we keep coming back to before the other night we were in really good shape so we mustn't let one one-off performance effect what we're trying to achieve at the end of the season.

 “What we want is obviously to be promoted and have good cup runs as well so at the moment, I feel we're on course for all of them.”

With expectation levels higher than usual ahead of Saturday's FA Trophy visit to Matlock, Buckle understands the pressures his team are under and reassures all that his side's ambitions match those from the terraces.

He said: “We share those thoughts as well, we want to do well in all of the competitions and I want to do well in all of the competitions, the FA Cup, FA Trophy and the League so like I said before we're on course, we're not off course at all.

“There's still over half the season to go in the league, were still in both cup competitions and come quarter to five on Saturday we want to be in the next round of the Trophy so we're very focused, very driven and I feel if we can stick another run together we'll stay in there and we'll stay in the cups.

“Wolves is going to be a big one, obviously it's going to be a big ask for us but that's a little while away yet.”

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