Hatters striker Danny Hylton believes he could well be a ‘marked man’ for referees after picking up his 11th booking of the season at Grimsby on Saturday.
The Luton forward, who has already missed four matches due to suspension so far this term, is now just four cautions away from another three game ban.
It does seem like it sometimes that I’m maybe a marked man.Danny Hylton
He could count himself hugely unlucky at the weekend though, shown yellow for pretty much his first offence, something Hylton felt furthered his claim, saying: “It is really hard sometimes because I feel that sometimes I haven’t got to do much and I get a booking.
“Maybe that’s a reputation thing. The one at Grimsby was my first foul, I didn’t think it was anything but a standard foul in the game and the referee was so quick to get his card out and book me, so that’s frustrating.
“We had a referee come in and he said they do their homework now, they watch games, they know the teams they’re going to ref and they highlight players that they think are going to be a problem, or (things like) he’s a tough tackler, you’ve got to watch out for him.
“They came in themselves and told us that. Maybe there’s a case that they’re saying, ‘he’s a bit mouthy sometimes’ or ‘he can give a few fouls away’ so it does seem like it sometimes that I’m maybe a marked man.
“But there’s no sob story, I’m just going to keep my nose clean and stay out of the book.
“I didn’t want it to come (suspension). It was always going to come, I suppose, but I didn’t want it to.
“Since I was on seven bookings, the gaffer spoke to me and I’ve tried to cut out silly bookings and I’ll do my best to stay out of the book and stay on the pitch.”
Boss Nathan Jones sympathised with the striker too, who has been easily one of Hatters’ stand out performers this season after joining from Oxford United in the summer.
He said: “If that is the case, then he’s going to have to handle it.
“Funnily enough I went into the referee after the Grimsby game and who had a good game on the day, no question mark over the referee’s integrity and I asked him, because Danny does get booked for easy ones.
“Wycombe, the booking was so light, it was unbelievable, and the treatment he had all afternoon, it was a travesty that he got booked for what he did, when the things that happened.
“So I asked the ref and the ref assured me, ‘no we don’t think of those things,’ so I don’t know.
“I’m never going to question the integrity of a referee, but it does seem that way.
“He does get booked for silly things. When he got booked against Carlisle, I couldn’t believe it, so there might be a bit of that, I don’t know.
“But what he has to do is keep his discipline, keep focusing on what he does. The thing is about Danny, Danny is whole-hearted, he’s a committed player, and I think he has the respect of most players.
“Those who want to wind him up and want to do things to him have a healthy respect for him.
“I just think it’s sometimes difficult for him because he’s in the thick of everything and I don’t want him to change that.
“It’s just the other things, the little silly ones, if he gets done for dissent or anything like that, those are the ones he has to cut out, as they all calculate.
“Look I wouldn’t swap him for any other player in this league, warts and all.”
The 27-year-old ended his longest drought in a Luton shirt, seven games, during the 5-2 hammering of Yeovil Town on Tuesday night and admitted afterwards that finding the net had been a relief.
Jones added: “If he’s pleased then I’m pleased. I want him to score because if he scores, we tend to win games.
“But his all-round performance the other night was as a good a centre forward’s performance as I’ve seen. In terms of a controlled leading the line, variation in his movement, obviously he got a goal and linked superbly with Isaac (Vassell) as well.
“It’s as good a centre forward’s individual performance I’ve seen and then combined with Isaac, they were really potent and they were a threat. We scored five and probably should have been more.”