Sheehan relishing not having to play catch-up this season

Centre half Alan Sheehan can't wait to start on an even keel with the Hatters next season.

Sunday, 12th June 2016, 8:14 am
Updated Monday, 13th June 2016, 1:27 pm
Town defender Alan Sheehan
Town defender Alan Sheehan

When Sheehan moved to Luton under new boss Nathan Jones on loan last term in January, the side were already some way adrift of the play-off places.

Although at times they threatened to break into the top seven, the task was to eventually prove beyond them, finishing nine points behind.

Sheehan, who penned a two year deal recently, said: “It was a massive catch up to do, we gave it a good go but just wasn’t good enough in the end.

“When the manager came in, there was just too much to do, too big a hill to climb.

“It will be a different team next year, new faces and even the lads that were here before under the previous manager, they’ve been given a new lease of life too.

“I’m sure the manager knows the people he wants to bring in and now we’ll give it a proper go, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Town gave their supporters a taste of what they might expect in the new campaign with a superb 4-1 win over Exeter City on the final day of the campaign.

Although pleased with the performance, Sheehan admitted the players were left wondering why it had come so late.

He continued: “We battered them and then it was frustrating as after that game we were thinking ‘great win, great day,’ but then ‘why didn’t we do that before?’”

Hatters will no doubt be made one of the favourites to go up again this season and Sheehan is targeting a serious promotion challenge.

He said: “Definitely, as without getting ahead of ourselves as it’s zero games played, the aim is to be up there at the end of the season in the mix.

“At the end of last season when I came in, there wasn’t many teams that out played us.

“The manager’s got his backroom staff there, with Harty (Paul Hart), and Nuge (Kevin Nugent) and Mick Harford, so there’s a lot of experience there and people who know the league really well.”

Meanwhile, with Jones streamlining his squad since the end of the campaign, with a host of departures including Jake Howells and Alex Lawless, Sheehan believes a smaller pool of players will only aid Hatters, adding: “I think the close knit squad will help, definitely.

“We had a huge squad last season, way too big for any league, it’s better when it’s close and everyone’s together.

“When it’s a smaller squad, you’ve got your starting 11 and your seven subs.

“There’s less people not playing, as the last thing a footballer wants to be doing is sitting in the stands watching the game.”