Cuthbert would relish another crack at the play-offs if Portsmouth can't be caught

Although not giving up hope on catching third placed Portsmouth just yet, Hatters captain Scott Cuthbert would relish a third crack at winning promotion via the play-offs this season.

Friday, 14th April 2017, 8:01 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:06 pm
Town skipper Scott Cuthbert
Town skipper Scott Cuthbert

The Town skipper has played in two League One finals at Wembley so far, finishing on the losing side on both occasions.

He was beaten when at Swindon, in a side containing current Luton team-mate Alan Sheehan, going down 1-0 to Millwall in 2010, and was then part of the Leyton Orient team who suffered a penalty shoot-out reverse to Rotherham in 2014.

However, Cuthbert remained undeterred by past experiences, saying: “I’ve not got very good memories of Wembley to be honest, but the play-offs are fantastic.

“You’ve got the double leg, televised and then get to Wembley, it’s fantastic.

“I’ve been on the receiving end of two defeats at Wembley and it’s a horrible, horrible feeling, so I’ll just been trying to use that experience I’ve had to motivate these lads to try and get there.

“The atmosphere’s are brilliant, as a footballer you want to play in the biggest games and it doesn’t come much bigger than the play-off games.

“You’ve got Portsmouth away which have got great crowds, we get good crowds ourselves, but the play-off games are fantastic occasions and if you do get there, and especially for these young lads who haven’t seen that before, it’ll be great.

“But we’ve not given up on automatic, we keep harping on about it, but we’re fully focused.

“As long as there’s a chance of us getting automatic, we’re going to keep pushing for it and we know we need to win every game and we’re going to aim to win every game and hopefully that will be enough to get in there.

“We’ve got five big games to go, we want to take maximum points, and you want to finish the season on a good run of form.”

Hatters start their bid to catch Pompey with a home clash against relegation certainties Leyton Orient this afternoon, before visiting play-off chasing Mansfield on Easter Monday.

Portsmouth meanwhile, host Plymouth at Fratton Park today and then visit Notts County on Monday, as with just five matches to go, Cuthbert said: “They’re (Pompey) obviously on a good run, but we’re coming to the Easter period where you’ve got two games in three days, and anything can happen.

“But we’ve got to take advantage of that, and have got to keep on winning games.

“We can’t be concentrating on Portsmouth slipping up, we’ve got to be focused on our games and our results and we just want to take maximum points from every game.

“Come the end of the season, if we catch Portsmouth then fantastic, but if we’re going into the play-offs on the back of some good wins and good form then that’s what we want to be like.”

One thing that Cuthbert has been pleased with is the manner in which his side have bounced back from a five game winless run, with two 1-0 victories against Blackpool and Barnet recently.

He added: “I think every team goes through little dips in form throughout the season.

“We went through one ourselves like everyone else and we reacted well which shows the character we’ve got throughout the team and that’s including the management and the coaching staff that we’re able to bounce back from a couple of disappointing defeats, re-galvanise and produce two solid displays, two clean sheets and two big wins to certainly secure ourselves in the play-off place and keep us in the hunt for promotion.”