Hatters defender Amari’i Bell believes that the players are still confident going into the Championship play-off semi-final second leg against Sunderland at Kenilworth Road.
The hosts go into the second half of the tie one goal behind after a 2-1 defeat at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, but the Jamaican international believes the home support can make a big difference in the second leg.
“The noise in the stadium can help you a lot”, said Bell. “At times when you are under the cosh and you need the fans to help you, to spur you on, you need them to help you give you that extra ten percent to run a little bit harder or change the momentum of the game, it can be a very good factor for that.
“When we go out to warm up, you just look around and it gives you that extra incentive to know that we’re not just doing it for us, but we’re doing it for them as well, it’s great to see them in there.
“Fans are massive, the atmosphere at Sunderland was good, but the feel at the Kenny is different. It’s a lot tighter and even though it’s a smaller ground, when it’s packed out it’s difficult for a lot of teams.
“The Watford game was a big derby and the fans were right up for it, as were we. It helped us and we won the game, so if they help us to do that again then that would be fantastic.
“Everyone’s still confident, we know what we’ve got, and we know in the second half we didn’t show how we normally perform, we know we’ve got a lot more to come so everyone’s positive.”
Bell admitted that the second half performance at the Stadium of Light did not compare to the first half and improvements can be made for the second leg.
“If you look at the first half compared to the second, you can see the difference in the performance and we weren’t at it in the second half, we know we can do a lot better. We have to give the same performance that we did in the first half and we’ll be fine.
“I don’t think they surprised us at all, we knew what their strengths were and I think for some reason we just changed in the second half, I can’t put my finger on that but, obviously we’re going to do a lot better and try to take better care of their threats.
“Obviously we knew that whatever happened in the first game, whether it was a win, draw or loss, there’s still a second game to play, so you can’t really look at the first one and say it’s all over. We just need to be positive, and it will be all fine.
“This game will be a lot different, obviously it will be better for us because we have our fans, it’s tight, there’s less room for them to perform how they do. Sunderland have a big pitch so it’s easier for them to isolate their players one-v-one. Here it will be tighter and we’re going to be right on top of them.”