All good things come to an end so it’s time to wave goodbye to our 10-game unbeaten run. That streak had to finish some time of course and with our lamentable injury tally, I’m surprised it didn’t happen earlier.
As for the match itself, it surely must be said that on the day Luton were the better side, which explains the basic reason for our defeat. This you can attempt to mitigate by referencing aforementioned injuries, absences and square pegs in round holes – and also the performance of referee Darren England.
I’ve seen it written elsewhere that Mr England was possibly influenced by the meagre but enthusiastic crowd of home supporters and I must say I thought the penalty given against Grant Hanley for *handball* was a bit harsh to say the least.
Hanley, who looked very much on the tired side, appeared to be shoved in the back by a Luton forward, probably the not-so-subtle James Collins.
Alex Tettey certainly seemed to agree with me as he made his feelings known to referee England. Collins was as calm as you like to make it 3-1 and effectively end our hopes within 50 minutes.
While Michael McGovern had no chance with the penalty itself I have no idea what he was doing with that square pass across his six-yard box that eventually led to the spot-kick award.
A save from a right-footed strike from a quickly taken free-kick courtesy of George Moncur for Luton’s first would have probably been beyond even the mighty Tim Krul but Matty Pearson’s free header for their second is a moot point.
Admittedly the cross was a good one but Pearson’s header seemed to go through McGovern rather than past him. Something tells me Krul would have got a paw to that one.
So that’s the 10-game unbeaten run shot down in flames but we should have Pukki back for Saturday, which is great as we ostensibly have no alternative. Both the Stieperdude and Przemysław Placheta have had a go but rather unsurprisingly have come up short.
It’s a long time since I’ve heard Daniel Farke speak after a defeat, but what he said last night seems pretty much on the money to me:
“We have to start another run. This is the Championship. You can’t expect to win 25 games in a row and you are promoted in January. In our situation with injuries it is of course difficult to score many goals in tough away games.
“Luton were spirited and wanted to show a reaction after losing to Cardiff. In these games your defensive behaviour has to be spot on.
“We can’t expect we can come to these places and score four or five. Sometimes one goal has to be enough. We conceded too many goals. We have to accept the loss.”
Moving cruelly quickly on from Wednesday to Saturday, we have a quintet of reasons to expect a little bit more from the side, as jaded as some of them must quite naturally be.
The Goat is highly likely to return, giving us the attacking focal point we have so sadly missed.
We’ll have an element of the crowd factor back in our favour on Saturday – even 2,000 Canaries will make a lot of noise!
Wednesday played for over an hour with ten men against when Liam Shaw was sent off against Reading.
Young Tyrese Omodoye made his debut. Pity he didn’t get a little bit longer but a debut’s a debut after all.
We didn’t seem to pick up any further injuries last night. Emi looked like an archetypal case of cramp to me.
I see there are a few anti-Farke folks airing their views on various media platforms. I couldn’t disagree with them more. To cope as well as he has with the current injury situation is admirable from my perspective.
And to end on a cheerful note it would seem that Emi and his partner are expecting what I think is their second child. Unless things have changed in the last 30 years, my experience tells me that absolutely nobody likes moving with a toddler and a newborn [see the thumb-sucking celebration after his penalty conversion].
Maybe I’m clutching at straws but we’re a different side without him and anything that persuades him to stay is fine by me.
And all the best to you ultras who will be at the Carra on Saturday. You know your mission.