Resilient Hatters earn praise from Hayrettin

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Michael Harriman crosses
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Town first team coach Hakan Hayrettin praised his side’s resilience to hold off a spirited Cambridge United fightback at the weekend.

The Hatters had led 3-0 at the interval thanks to strikes from Andy Drury, Luke Wilkinson and Jonathan Smith, only for the U’s to pull two goals back in the second period, leaving Luton hanging on nervously at the final whistle.

Hayrettin said: “I thought first half we were outstanding. Sometimes the way we play, we push teams back and we halve and quarter the pitch, so we oressed very high and didn’t give them any space on the ground to play.

“To go in 3-0 up, it was a great half time score for us.

“We emphasised we needed to carry on what we were doing but fair play to them, they threw caution to the wind, took the bull by the horns, gave it a go, but they had nothing to lose.

“The pleasing thing for us was we worked hard until the 90th minute and got the result.”

On just why the second half was so different to the first 45, with Cambridge threatening a dramatic levelled, Hayrettin continued: “You’re never going to play well for 90 minutes of the game.

“At 3-0, their manager said to them you’ve got nothing to lose. They changed the formation, changed the shape, they were a bit more attacking, put another player up to get at us and fair play, they didn’t sit back.

“We had to change two of the the back four as well, but we deserved to get the three points and that’s three fantastic points.

“Whenever we play Cambridge, they’re always close encounters, but to go in 3-0 at half time the way we did was awesome.

“We stood firm after that and we got the points. People will look at it and just see that we got the three points.”

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