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AWFORD CONFIDENT OF BOXING DAY CHEER

24 December 2015

Caretaker manager Andy Awford believes the Town can take masses of confidence from last weekend’s last-gasp win at Exeter when they take on Wycombe Wanderers on Boxing Day.

Paul Benson’s 100th-minute winner gave the Hatters a 3-2 victory down in Devon to end a run of four successive defeats.

And Awford wants the Town to push on when they take on the Chairboys at a packed Kenilworth Road on Saturday.

“It’s been a mad week, we had the disappointment of John Still leaving the Club but the Exeter result has really lifted the place,” Awford told lutontown.co.uk.

“The manner in which we got it has helped – I think it’s a bit of pay-back for the late goals we’ve conceded ourselves this season.

“You don’t know how the place would have been had we ‘only’ drawn the game 2-2. Obviously we had been two goals up, and yes, you look at the facts and before the game you might have taken a point. But Paul’s in the right place at the right time to win it for us and that gives us a lot to build on going into the Wycombe game.

“I said to the players in the dressing room before the game we have to try and win this by hook or by crook – and we did.”

The Hatters have Jonathan Smith available for selection after the midfielder missed the Exeter win with a knee injury but Luke Wilkinson remains out with a hamstring problem.

However, with no development game this week Awford and the Town have benefitted from an uninterrupted week on the training pitch.

“We’ve all been together and everyone’s worked really hard,” said Awford. “The whole place has been lifted, no doubt about it, you can see in training.

“From what I’ve seen I’m confident of us getting a positive result against Wycombe – but it’s all good in practice: the challenge is playing under pressure in front of 10,000 people on Saturday.”

Despite having a week to prepare for the visit of Gareth Ainsworth’s side, Awford admitted he won’t be changing much in the wake of last Saturday’s triumph.

“The games are coming thick and fast, we’ve got two games in three days and the important thing is to just keep bubbling along,” said the caretaker boss. “You can’t change too much, the style, formation or personnel is unlikely to change.

“I’ve put my ideas across on how I think we can beat Wycombe and all we can do now is put everything into practise.”

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