4 observations from Luton Towns' 1-1 draw with Coventry City
Luton Town remained in 4th position with a hard fought draw against 15th placed Coventry City. The position of Coventry in the table does not reflect the abundant quality they possess throughout their team, which includes a Championship star and in the tricky Swede Victor Gyokeres, and the industrious Gustavo Hamer and slick passing Casey Palmer. It also doesn't reflect the slick football that Mark Robins has got Coventry playing. It was a right old humdinger of an affair with both Goalkeepers being on the top of their respective games. Ethan Horvath clawing away a great shot from Gyokeres in the first half at 1-0, and his counterpart between the sticks for Coventry, Ben Wilson, making an outstanding stop from a Cauley Woodrow header to keep the game locked at 1-1. Having looked at how Coventry presented themselves in the game, one would expect them to start moving up the table during the last third of the season. Lucky to have Locks Aside from opening the scoring on 38 seconds with a ball turned in - with the instinct of a seasoned striker, after a fantastic cross from Doughty - it was simply another performance that made Town fan hit the social media pages and bang on about tying Tom Lockyer down to an extended contract, with reports circulating that his agreement with Luton Town is due to expire in the Summer. Tom Lockyer is all action at the back, and exactly what you want in the middle of the back three. He blocks shots (2 shots blocked), he makes clearances, wins his tackles, gives it a good go with his 50:50s (winning 100% of his ground duels), in addition to making 9 recoveries of the ball and not committing any fouls during the game. He is simply going strength to strength after being out the team at the beginning of the season (even asking for a loan move). We must Locks him down! Is Doughty a doubt for the next game? It looked rather innocuous but seeing Doughty walking off at 65 minutes, provided a bit of a scare for the travelling Town fans. The 23 year old has been a big hit at Luton Town, and was covering the right wing back position in place of Cody Drameh, who himself missed out because of a knock to knee. Depending on the extent of Drameh's injury, as well as Doughty's injury, this leaves us with Fred Onyedinma, who himself is back from a long injury layoff, and has only managed 6 full 90 minutes since joining Luton Town at the beginning of last season. Considering the hectic schedule we are about to embark on and the great run of form that sees us 4th in the table, it's a cause for concern amongst the fanbase, especially as Doughty has been one of the standout players this season. In addition to his assist (he wasn't officially given it, but I'm going to give it to him), Doughty, created 2 chances, completed 100% of his dribbles, and tracked back well making 2 clearances and 2 recoveries.
Defensive disasterclass from Osho? Firstly no, I don't think Osho was bad in the match, he had a very tricky match up against (as said above) one of the best, if not the best striker in the Championship. The penalty incident was very unfortunate, Gyokeres felt the contact and was smart to go down, tangling his legs amongst Gabe's because he was in front of him, and felt it would be a red card. It was a smart play from Gyokeres, fortunately Gabe stayed on the field. If you cast your mind back to the return fixture at the Kenny, Gyokeres was a nightmare for Sonny Bradley, he had a goal disallowed for offside, and was running beyond Bradley and Potts for the entire match. Osho and co did really well, limiting Gyokeres to 3 shots, 1 on target, well saved by Horvath, 1 blocked by Lockyer and 1 blocked by Osho. Rob Edwards stated in his post match press conference that he believes Osho had a good game, and this doesn't seem like lip service to big him up and give him confidence. Edwards was a centre back by trade, therefore is exactly who you want advising Gabe on how to improve his game. Furthermore the numbers back up how solid Gabe's game was. In addition to the blocked shot, he made 5 clearances, 4 headed clearances, an interception, 7 recoveries and won 6 of his 11 ground duels. Fair play Gabe, keep going!
Return of the (Lawnmower) King The team sheet surprised us all when we saw Henri Lawnsbury named on the bench. Prior to his injury, Henri was a vital cog sitting in the defensive midfield position in front of the back 3. Fortunately we now have Marvelous Nakamba who gave a very positive showing in his first 90 minutes for the Town (77% pass accuracy, 9 recoveries, 4 interceptions 5/7 ground duels won, 2/3 aerial duels won, 2/4 tackles won and 0 fouls committed). However, having the Henri back gives us more options, versatility and rotation in the midfield three who are all going to clock up some serious mileage over the coming weeks with games flying at us thick and fast. Potentially seeing a holding midfield double pivot of Henri and Marvelous (Aston Villa friends), with an attacking midfielder ahead of them, for added defensive steel, especially in combative games like Burnley and Sheffield United. Or more likely as a rotational cover for Marv, as well as Louie Watson.