Luton v Pompey: Hatters strike force will punish repeat of lapses

Pompey goalkeeper Brian Murphy. Picture Joe Pepler
Pompey goalkeeper Brian Murphy. Picture Joe Pepler

POMPEY have been warned Luton Town’s strike force will punish a repeat of their defensive mishaps.

The Blues travel to Kenilworth Road today for an anticipated clash with John Still’s Hatters.

We need to be clued in defensively

Brian Murphy

Paul Cook will have to keep one of the most threatening League Two strike forces at bay in Craig Mackail-Smith and Paul Benson.

Keeper Brian Murphy knows there will be no room for the kind of mistakes which riddled the first-half performance in the 3-3 draw against Morecambe.

Murphy said: ‘Those two lads (Mackail-Smith and Benson) have played at a good level.

‘Mackail-Smith has scored goals at a decent level.

‘That proves that as much as we want to attack and have a lot of possession, we need to be clued in defensively.

‘We can’t give away sloppy corners and things like that, like we have.

‘If we do that properly I think we will be okay.’

Murphy accepted there will be times when he will be busy this season with Cook employing an attacking philosophy.

But the Irishman highlighted that doesn’t mean that indiscipline is acceptable.

Murphy said: ‘As a keeper you know you are going to concede goals in games.

‘If you go all-out attack, as we have, and press teams, there will be gaps at the back at times.

‘You have to be disciplined and I have to marshal the defence.

‘If we go down we won’t drop our heads as we showed last Saturday.

‘If you look at the games this season we’ve had 60 per cent of the possession.

‘That’s where our defences have to be sharp.

‘But we need to start better against Luton and I think that will be the case.’