Buckle refusing to panic despite Newport debacle

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Hatters boss Paul Buckle was refusing to get too downbeat after Town’s 5-2 defeat to Newport County on Tuesday night, writes Mike Simmonds.

Although the awful defensive performance saw Luton slip six points behind the Exiles, who moved back to the top of the table, Buckle wasn’t about to push the panic buttons.

He said: “I’ve stood here before when we’ve lost and said there will be no panic, there never will be.

“It’s about doing the basics right and we didn’t do the basics right.

“You have to put things into perspective. We’ve lost a game, it’s one game, we’re highly disappointed as we’ve been on an excellent run and need to start another one.

“The performance levels were excellent Saturday and I’ve been here before. When we lose a game, I’m not going to get too low, disappointed and the rest of it.

“We don’t become a bad team over night, we know where we’ve let ourselves down. The boys are very, very disappointed but we’re still right in there and it’s not all doom and gloom.”

Town could have gone level of points with County with a victory, but Buckle still felt they were handily placed to mount a title challenge in the new year.

He continued: “It’s always frustrating when you lose a game of football. We could have edged nearer, but it didn’t happen. Even if we’d have won, it wouldn’t have been over.

“We’ve got to improve. We’ve been excellent on the road this season as a rule, probably the best, so we’ve got to get back to winning ways,

“We got undone, but it was errors, it wasn’t them opening us up with good play at all. We had an off night and have got to get back on it. We know where the fault was.”

One of the more frustrating aspects that despite an poor first half, Town had a real chance of getting something from the game after Jon Shaw made the scores 3-2 on the hour mark.

But further terrible defending saw Andy Sandell and Christian Jolley net within six minutes of Shaw’s goal and put the match firmly beyond the visitors.

Buckle said: “At 3-2, you could have heard a pin drop in this ground. They’ve conceded a lot of goals, so at 3-2 you think you’re in with a real chance.

“Then (Lathaniel) Rowe-Turner and (Dean) Beckwith poke a toe at things and it ricochets through, it leaves you with very little chance

“I felt a bit hard done by for the boys. I thought it was blatant handball in the box and thought Rens (Scott Rendell) maybe got a kick in the head in the box, but we didn’t deserve anything.

“We didn’t adapt to the conditions. As a professional, you have to whether it is a nice pitch or a poor pitch and they adapted better than that.”

Meanwhile, County boss Justin Edinburgh hailed the victory as the best of his career, adding: “I think that’s got to be my proudest win, my proudest moment and that’s especially the case seeing as so many times when we have been on television we’ve let ourselves down.

“We are more than delighted to let people see the true Newport. Both halves were consistent, it was like the best hits of the Kidderminster performance and I’m very happy with that.

““With the performance everyone could see why we’re top of this league. We’re disappointed with the goals we conceded but we’ve got goals in this team and are always a threat.

“Christian Jolley was unplayable in the first half but the front three were a constant thorn in the Luton side.”

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