Sheehan's superior set-pieces swung it for Hatters boss

Hatters boss Nathan Jones admitted that the pinpoint accuracy of Alan Sheehan's set-piece delivery was one of the main reasons he was introduced off the bench at Oxford United on Tuesday evening.

Thursday, 4th October 2018, 11:01 am
Updated Friday, 5th October 2018, 2:33 am
Hatters captain Alan Sheehan celebrates Town's 2-1 win at Oxford
Hatters captain Alan Sheehan celebrates Town's 2-1 win at Oxford

With four minutes of normal time to play, Sheehan replaced Glen Rea as the holding midfielder, earning he a superb reception from the visiting faithful as he went over to take a corner with his first touch.

When Kazenga LuaLua was fouled at the death, he then sent over the free kick that Dan Potts headed home to grab all three points in the eighth minute of stoppage time.

Speaking afterwards, Jones said: "We know what he does and I want to take all the credit for the subs, because I thought the subs were good, but yesterday (Monday) Sheez came to see me and we had a good chat about certain things like we do, as I do with my captain.

“He goes: ‘I don’t know why you’re not having a look at me as defensive midfield player, I’ve played there, I’ve done things.’

“And the thing that swung it for me, was I thought our set-play delivery was awful, really was awful, considering we have the potency we do.

“So I wanted to do that, I put him on and he puts one bang on the money and that’s why he’s had the career he has.

"The game changers that came on were wonderful, JJ (James Justin) gave us energy, we know what Kaz can do, he won the foul for the free kick and then the Sheezedog put it on a plate.

“I could be very critical of the referee for one decision, but I want to give him credit because to be fair, he played eight minutes and it was eight minutes.

"The timewasting that went on was expected, but he added that on and at the end we came back to score.Sheehan himself had already served notice of his deadball expertise with his very first action, sending over a wicked corner that was only just headed clear by the U's defence.

In a throwback to last season, the Sheehan and Potts combination then came up trumps to win it, as the Irishman said: “It was beautiful wasn’t it? It’s weird, as I’ve not been taking the set-pieces, I could lie to you and say we do it every day, but we don’t.

“Sometimes you have that relationship with people, like last year it was me to Pottsy and getting on it.

“But he seems to be where I’m putting my set-pieces and what a brilliant header.

“You can put balls in there all day long, but if you don’t have someone attacking it, it’s brilliant by Pottsy.

“I don’t think he’s scored yet this season, me and Pottsy have this, it’s weird, Sheehan to Potts.

"Whenever I put balls in, he seems to be there you know, and what a brilliant header it was by Pottsy, so I'm delighted for him.”

On the discussions with Jones about being an option for the holding role, Sheehan added: "Glen’s been doing brilliant in there, and we’ve got Macca (Alan McCormack) there as well.

"I was just saying to him, we were chatting about getting me back into the team, and everything like that.

"I’ll play wherever, I’ll play defensive midfield, I’ll play centre back, I’m just here for the team.

"I try my best and when I’ve been out of the team, I just make sure everything runs smoothly and everything’s been going great."