Freezing pitch forces Hatters on to Creasey Park

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Freezing conditions at Ely Way have forced the Hatters to find other facilities to train on ahead of Saturday’s visit of Forest Green Rovers, writes Mark Wood.

Town today (Thursday) trained on the artificial facilities at Creasey Park in Dunstable, but boss Paul Buckle admitted it wasn’t the best form of preparation.

He said: “This is decent. It’s not ideal to not be able to train on grass, but as I’ve said before we won’t make any excuses.

“I’m just so hell-bent on getting every player in our building, from the youth team to the reserves to the first team wanting to fight and die for the cause.

“And I’ve got to have that and there’s got to be a reason why we haven’t got out of this league and it’s my job at this moment in time to find that.”

It’s been a topsy-turvy last week for Luton as, having triumphed 1-0 at Premier League Norwich City in the fourth round of the FA Cup the week before, they lost 3-0 at Grimsby Town in the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy and then slumped to a 1-0 defeat at lowly Barrow.

“It’s an amazing week really,” said Buckle. “We go from beating a Premiership team away to losing to a team that’s in the bottom four.

“But that’s football, this is what you have to suffer, this is what you have to take as a player, a coach, a manager, highs and lows all the time, dust yourself down and go again and that’s what we’re doing.

“It’s gone now, it’s history and it’s a good learning curve for us. We’ve still go a lot of games left and they’re going to come thick and fast now.

“That’s what makes it such a fantastic game and sport, because you never know.

“The one thing it does teach us is you have to be on your game every week, if you’re not you can come unstuck.

“It’s nothing new to me and I’ve understood that for a number of years.

“It’s identifying where you go wrong and putting it right next week and by and large this season when we’ve come unstuck we’ve always put a decent run together afterwards.

“It’s consistency. We spoke it this morning with the players and they know it’s individual error that’s cost us this season.

“Whenever we’ve fallen behind or lost a game it’s not really been great goals. We looked at the DVD of all the goals against and you can probably count on one hand how many excellent goals were scored against us.

“So it’s a case now of in and around our own box, and sort of 30, 40 yards from goal doing the basics right.”

But Buckle is looking forward to his side returning to Kenilworth Road where they have enjoyed better fortune of late.

He said: “Our form’s been exceptional, I can’t remember the last time we came unstuck at home, it’s been a good few months.

“We’ve been a different class. There’s so many things to that we’ve done right. It’s only a couple of weeks ago that we were scoring six goals at home in the league and beating a Championship team and a Premiership team.

“We’ve lost one game of football. The key now for us is to learn by it.

“This is what I’m crying out for from the players, come on and switch on, come and get your head on the ball and clear it away because really and truthfully it’s not been much more than that that has undone us.”

And with the season entering the business end of the campaign, Buckle has called upon his players to eliminate individual errors.

He added: “They’re all big games and they’re only going to get bigger as the clock ticks down.

“I’m not sure if it’s 19 or 20 games we’ve got left, there’s so much football to be played.

“If we can eliminate individual error we will go very close.”