Behind Enemy Lines: Luton Town

A win over Luton would move Millwall into the top six ahead of the 3pm kick-offs on New Year's Day.

The Lions were victorious over promotion-chasers Brentford on Sunday and will look to follow up that result with a positive outcome against the Hatters, in the final game before a break from league action.

Luton, meanwhile, are second from bottom in the table having lost 3-0 to Bristol City at Ashton Gate in their most recent outing.



Lucas Ball spoke to Jamie Castle ahead of the match.

Twitter: @jamie_castle96

Why do you support Luton?



I'm a third-generation Hatter. My Grandad started following the Town in the 1950s and took my Dad to his first game in 1975. My first game was Luton v Halifax in 2002, a League Two fixture, and I have been a season-ticket holder ever since.

What's been your favourite season following the Hatters?

Last season would probably edge it for me, ahead of the Conference-winning season of 2013-14.

Some of the football we played was astounding and we were riding the momentum we built on the back of our League Two promotion.

We had some really memorable away days too – Oxford, Sunderland and Bradford are the stand-outs for me.

And the worst?

Hands down the season when we started on minus-30 points (2008-09). Imagine starting a season knowing that your fate at the end of it was relegation out of the Football League for the first time in your club's history. The Football League Trophy win was the only bright moment.

Luton have struggled so far this campaign – do you expect them to stay up?

The season we've had so far isn't unexpected. Most of our squad were with us during our League Two promotion season so if any Luton fan told you at the start of the season that we'd easily stay up then they were lying.

January is a big month for us, so if we have the window we need and strengthen in the appropriate areas then I'm confident we'll stay up, otherwise it's 50/50. There's a pack of four teams who are slightly cut adrift at the bottom now, so it's going to be tough.

What business needs to be done in January?

Quite a bit. The general consensus amongst the fanbase is we need three or four in.

One of those definitely needs to be a full-back. After losing two of the best full-backs in the EFL last summer in James Justin and Jack Stacey, we never aptly replaced them, and with Brendan Galloway seemingly out for most, if not all, of this season left-back is the priority.

Other than that, a centre-half to compete with Sonny Bradley and Matty Pearson and a centre-forward to take the pressure off James Collins are two high-priority areas.

Did you expect the reverse fixture to be Neil Harris' last in charge of the Lions, given the way the game went?

I was surprised when Harris left as he seemed one of the more comfortable managers in the league.

I thought we were the better side on the day but wasted our chances (story of our season), and your form going into the game wasn't great so in hindsight I can see why the decision was taken – and it's seemed to have worked positively.

If you could sign one Millwall player, who would it be and why?

Jed Wallace. I'm guessing most opposition fans have said the same, too. Players who have the ability to change games are priceless in this league.

Who will be Luton's danger men on Wednesday?

Kazenga LuaLua has come back into the side for the last two games and has looked really bright so I would say he's our current one-to-watch.

Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu has also developed into a player worthy of the level, and probably our most reliable player at the moment.

What are your thoughts on Gary Rowett?

I believe this is the first time we'll be facing a Gary Rowett side so I've got no previous emotions towards him.

From the outside looking in it seems like he was treated harshly at the EFL's current poison chalice (Stoke), and it seems like he's started really well at The Den. Still a relatively young manager who I think needs a lengthy spell at a club to re-establish himself.

What's your predicted Luton starting XI and formation?

After changing to a back three in the first 10 minutes against Bristol City, I wouldn't be surprised if Graeme Jones starts with it on Wednesday. Therefore, my predicted XI is:

5-3-2: Shea; Bolton, Pearson, Cranie, Bradley, Bree; Pelly, Tunnicliffe, Berry; Collins, LuaLua.

Will you be at the game?

Yep. First time at The Den, too. Ticking off my 53rd ground of the current 92.

Finally, a score prediction?

The reverse fixture had a derby feel to it so I wouldn't be surprised if this did, too.

Despite current form I'm staying optimistic about our fortunes changing soon. On paper, it should be a comfortable home win for you but I've got to back the Town so I'm going Luton win: 1-2.

Graphic: @jay_taylor18

Staff

(@NewsAtDen)