Shinnie backs Sluga to bounce back from howlers

Simon Sluga can't hide his emotion at the end of the game on Saturday
Simon Sluga can't hide his emotion at the end of the game on Saturday

Town midfielder Andrew Shinnie has confidence that goalkeeper Simon Sluga can bounce back from his shocking double error at Derby County on Saturday.

The Croatian international handed the Rams both goals in the 2-0 win, allowing Matty Pearson’s backpass to roll under his foot in the 11th minute as County took the lead.

With 20 minutes to go in the second period, Sluga then couldn’t prevent Tom Lawrence’s cross from beating him at the near post, to decide a game that Luton definitely deserved at least a point from.

The stopper looked beyond crestfallen at the end when going over to the visiting supporters, as Shinnie said: “He’s a proud guy and he’s a professional player, an international player.

"You don’t like making mistakes, it’s horrible and when you’re a goalkeeper it’s worse as if you make a mistake, more than likely it's going to end up in the back of your net.

"But he’s got to be a big lad, he’s got to be strong and just recover from it, push his chest out and keep training hard, working hard and that’s all he can do.

"Football’s a tough game at times, a ruthless game and one minute you're high as a kite and next minute you’re low.

"All players have been there, it’s just how you bounce back, being mentally strong enough and I’m sure he can do that."

On the first goal, which came just when Town looked like they had weathered the early storm from Derby, Shinnie said: “It’s very frustrating, the first goals in games are vital really and you can’t legislate for it really.

"It’s a mistake and most of the lads have maybe turned round and were going to go up the park.

"You hear the crowd and turn round and see the ball rolling in, it’s devastating a bit.”

Town didn't let the goal overly affect them and after the break, were really starting to mount some sustained pressure as they went in search of an equaliser.

That was ended in the 70th minute though as Lawrence's cross from the right flew into the net, with Sluga clearly at fault once more.

Shinnie added: “I think if you’re a goalkeeper you’re not happy getting beat at your near post, that’s what goalkeepers are like, so he’s probably disappointed with that one as well.

"But that’s what I mean, if you make mistakes that lead to goals, it’s tough, you feel disappointed and maybe like you’ve let people down.

"But we’ve all been there as players and a lot of goalkeepers will have been there.

"He’s got to be strong, recover from it, keep working hard, keep his confidence up and go again."