Webster: Luton Will Relish Opportunity to Claim Scalp
Monday, 7th Aug 2017 17:10
If there’s one player in the Town camp who can gauge the mood in the Luton camp ahead of tomorrow’s Caribao Cup first round clash it’s central defender Adam Webster.
The League Two outfit romped to an 8-2 opening-day home win over Yeovil at the weekend that is sure to have further boosted morale ahead of the game at Kenilworth Road.
Webster, who featured for former club Portsmouth in a home win over Derby in the same competition two years ago and then played his part in eliminating Town from the FA Cup in January last year, knows a thing or two about how lower league clubs relish their opportunities to claim a Championship scalp.
He said: “These games, when a Championship team come to your home ground, are always difficult for the bigger club. The lower league clubs want to get one over on them and show them what they are capable of. But we all know that and we’ve got some experience in the dressing room. We all know what to expect and what we’ve got coming tomorrow.
“It’s a bit of a cliché but when people say it’s your cup final it really is. You want to test yourself against the better players so when a game like this comes round you want to do well and beat them. That’s what Luton will be looking to do and we’ve got to be ready for that.
“Kenilworth Road is also a very hostile ground. The pitch is tight to the fans and if they are on the front foot it can be a difficult place to play. Obviously, after their result at the weekend, they will be full of confidence so we know it won’t be an easy game. But we’ve got to go there, do what we do best and hopefully get the right result.”
Webster has some words of advice for any of the fringe players in Mick McCarthy’s squad – young midfielders Flynn Downes and Tristan Nydam for example – if the Town boss decides to give them an opportunity to shine.
“Some of the young lads have been training with us and they have looked good,” he said. “If they get a chance they need to take it.
“We’ll be looking to go there and get a good result. It’s obviously important to win then we can take that into Saturday’s game away at Barnsley. We’ve got a lot of games in August but you can’t beat the winning feeling and that’s what we’ll be aiming to do.”
Saturday’s 1-0 win over Birmingham saw Webster come off the bench in the 74th minute to replace on-loan Wolves player Dominic Iorfa and he added: “It was a massive result. Obviously, to start the new season with a win was exactly what we were looking for.
"You do all your pre-season work and it builds up to the first game so to win it – and with a clean sheet as well – is always nice for everyone.”
Matchwinner Joe Garner celebrated his Town debut following his £1 million move from Rangers with the all-important winning goal and Webster admitted he is glad to have the ex-Preston player on board, rather than face the prospect of lining up against him if he had moved elsewhere in the Championship this summer.
He added: “Joe is one of those strikers you don’t want to come up against – he’s horrible to play against because he has a bit of everything to his game.
"He’s been on fire since he came in and he’s the type of striker who’s not afraid to put his foot I and leave one on you. He’s a nightmare for defenders really.”
Meanwhile, Webster confirmed that he and his Town colleagues are keen to prove a point in the coming months, particularly to those supporters who chose not to renew season tickets for the new campaign.
He explained: “Last season wasn’t great for us but we have started well this time and hopefully that will continue and we’ll have a good year.
“I’m totally settled and I love it here. This is where I want to be and I’m loving it. Obviously, I want to be playing and the first game of the season is massive. But I came on and I thought I did alright so the aim now is to break into the team.”
Finally, having recovered from a long-term injury himself, Webster turned to teenage colleague Andre Dozzell, who was stretchered off just before the break at Portman Road on Saturday and will learn tonight whether he has suffered the knee injury all players dread – an anterior cruciate ligament tear that could see him miss the remainder of the season just started.
Webster said: “We’ve all got our fingers crossed for Andre. He’s been back for a few weeks after a great summer with England U19s and we’re all gutted for him.
"We can only hope it’s not as bad as first feared. We’re all praying for him. He’s a great talent and at 18 he has a great career ahead of him. He’s definitely going to go far in the game.”
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