I’m genuinely gutted I haven’t got a ticket for Saturday’s game at Kenilworth Road. Luton Town brings back a lot of great memories for me as a kid and not always necessarily to do with Forest. Back in the 80’s, they had some cracking players in Mark and Brian Stein, Tim Breacker at full back and the iconic Steve Foster with his tennis style headband. The Adidas tango football, particularly the orange one in wintery weather was a thing of absolute beauty. Forest tended to perform relatively well on Luton’s plastic pitch as well. I remember Nigel Clough and Steve Hodge always giving Les Sealey a tough time in goal. Let’s also not forget Des Walker’s only goal at Forest in a treacherous game at The City Ground the following season.
My first ever trip to Wembley and my greatest ever moment supporting Forest was against Luton; so it’s fair to say I’ve a soft spot for them. It’s also fair to say that they’re a club similar to Forest in some respects, that have fallen some way from grace since the late 1980’s. It’s good to see them back on the rise. I’d taken a real interest in Nathan Jones’ spell given the success he’d experienced and hoped that even after his departure, things wouldn’t turn sour for Luton. Mick Harford did more than an admirable job in securing promotion and probably surpassed the achievements he gained as a Luton player from years gone by. It’s not very often you can say that about a manager. We know those failings all too well at Forest!
So despite buying an away membership to guarantee a trip to Luton, I find myself on the receiving end of a fair club policy. I’ve been to 4 away games this season and that’s not enough. I’ll be listening somewhere with equal enthusiasm. Luton seemed to have been a bit hit and miss so far but when I’ve seen them, they’re clearly a side that can hurt teams. Forest on the back of two defeats are going to be up against a club that will want to claim a decent scalp in Forest after our start to the season. I’m sure their will be some home supporters who’d like a little bit of revenge about that cup defeat in 1989. In a fiery atmosphere close to the pitch, it should be a cracker. Hopefully there will be goals to match but I can’t see Sabri going to cavalier and I don’t see the need to stray too far away from the away game blueprint.
It’s another opportunity for Joe Lolley to kickstart his season a little more and it remains to be seen if Carvalho will keep his place given that it will most probably be a tigerish game. I’m half expecting to see a midfield of Watson, Yates and Silva. I’m going to go with a 1-1 draw.
Luton Fan, Lewis Williams gave me his lowdown on their season back in The Championship so far.
How is the Luton season going at the quarter stage?
My expectations for this season is to stay up. I believe we have enough quality in our squad to do this. The signing of Izzy Brown has been a massive factor in the number of goals we have scored this season. He has created the second most chances in the league and leads the assists leaderboard. The signing Simon Sluga has been poor, made plenty of mistakes and at this moment in time the money that we have spent on him should have gone elsewhere but still early too judged.
Last few games we have been performing well, and it could have got more, but that’s the story of our season so far. Individual mistakes are costing us this season, and that’s why we are where we are in the table.
What do Forest need to be aware of in terms of Luton’s strengths and weaknesses?
Our strengths –
Attacking Set Pieces
Coming back from losing positions
Finishing scoring chances
Protecting the lead
Our Weaknesses –
Defending counter attacks
Defending against long shots
What are your thoughts on Forest this season? Who will you be wary of most?
I’ve been stunned with Forest. Considering the manager change before the season, I was expecting a bad start and for you guys to be in the bottom half of the table. With a goalscorer in Lewis Grabban, you guys going forward will always look like scoring and cause a lot of threat.
Any previous exciting Luton v Forest encounters who can think of?
I don’t remember the last time we played Forest as it’s been so long but looking forward to an exciting encounter between the teams. I’m predicting a 2-2 draw.
Many thanks for Lewis for his thoughts. Very much appreciated.