Date:Friday December 15 2006
15 December 2006
This is a must win game for Luton in front of the Sky TV cameras this evening.
Luton have won five and drawn three of their home matches while Southend have yet to win away from home having taken only two points from ten matches.
However, they will be lifted by their 2-1 defeat of Southampton at Roots Hall last weekend and by the news that Manager Steve Tilson and assistant manager Paul Brush have both signed contract extensions this week.
Mike Newell on Lutontown.co.uk:
'We have shown signs in the last couple of weeks that the confidence is coming back, and a few of the players have proved that they are back on song, with the likes of Bell showing some real good form.
'We have an opportunity to get a win under our belt. Southend had a good win last week against Southampton at home so we certainly won't be taking them lightly in any way shape or form.
They (Southend)haven't found it easy. Maybe we made it look easy last year. They had a fantastic season gaining promotion, and for a club the size of Southend, without being disrespectful, to be in the Championship is a great achievement.
'They have found it difficult at times this season, but they've proved with the win against Manchester United that they have got quality in the side.'
On the subject of the Shrimpers highly rated striker Freddy Eastwood Mike said:
'I'm sure that Southend will eventually find it difficult to keep hold of him.
'Nobody wants to lose their better players but it's a fact of life that if you're standing in the way of a player progressing or playing at a higher level, it's not fair or it's not possible. He's in goal scoring form.'
After reports that Newell was 'cold' on Dean Kiely staying at the club he went on:
'We're happy with Dean. He's been great in the dressing room. We've got two experienced 'keepers here at the moment, and Marlon's attitude has been first class.
'If you said we could have him here for another month, three months or twelve months then I'd say yes.'
No new injury worries for Town boss Mike Newell and Chris Coyne came through 90 minutes of reserve football on Wednesday, and in the same match, Sol Davis played his first 67 minutes of football since his stroke on 28 October, but it is too early to expect either to start in this match.
Still the Town player in form and may be the key to unlock the Shrimpers defence.
Southend are expected to be at full strength.
In good goal scoring form and a class act when he gets the service he needs and Luton must deny him time and space.
Saturday 23 December Coventry City Home 3 pm
Tuesday 26 December Colchester United Away 3 pm
Friday 29 December Southampston Away 7-45 pm
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Date:Friday December 15 2006
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