Academy & development manager Andy Awford refused to be too downhearted after seeing the Hatters youth team go down to another 1-0 defeat at Southend United yesterday.
It was the second time in four days the Town Under-18s had lost to a solitary goal in the EFL Youth Alliance South-East Division, following Saturday’s reversal at Barnet.
But Awford believes his side’s ability to create opportunities on their trip to Essex will stand them in good stead once they start to get the rub of the green in front of goal.
Awford told lutontown.co.uk: “It’s frustrating again to get beaten 1-0, but I was really pleased with the players’ performance. We were the better side overall, we just can’t buy a goal at the moment.
“We conceded another goal to a set-piece, this time a corner, and that’s been a recurring theme so far this season. We’ve only conceded four goals in the four games we’ve played, but three have been from set-plays and only one from open play.
“Defensively the lads aren’t doing too much wrong, apart from smartening up from re-starts, but the biggest area of concern for us at the moment is the lack of goals.
“We created numerous chances at Barnet on Saturday and again at Southend, but we’re just not converting them. We need to be more clinical and professional in the final third.”
The Town youngsters have a free Saturday this week before returning to action at Ely Way next Tuesday, when Barnet make the short journey north for a League Cup first round tie (1pm kick-off).
“As a team we’re not doing great because we are losing football matches, but individually there has been some good performances and that’s enough to encourage me,” said Awford.
“We always say that winning isn’t our priority, it’s about the development of players and success for us is seeing lads progress to the first team.
“But winning matches does help that process and builds the players’ confidence, and we do emphasise that we want to win and do well in the cups, so we’ll be looking to do exactly that against Barnet at Ely Way next week.”
HATTERS U18s v SOUTHEND: Parker, James, Mead, C Jones, Panter (A Jones), Richardson (Swindells), Sorunke, Belgrove, Read (Sorunke), Neufville, Stead (Tomlinson)