Skipper looks back on an important win at Kenilworth RoadSkipper John Mousinho praised the Burton Albion team for coming through a tough assignment at play-off chasing Luton Town to cement their place at the top of the Sky Bet League 2 table on a day when all of the other sides in the top five won to keep up the pressure for automatic promotion.
The former Wycombe and Stevenage man felt that Albion had to see off an early threat as Luton tried to secure back to back wins after a horrendous run of defeats but once Albion were able to get into their disciplined shape and force their hosts back the platform was set for the team to go on and get the win.
"This is a very tough place to come" acknowledged John, "This is a club that has been a lot higher in the leagues and who have got a massive history and a big fanbase so it makes it quite intimidating and a difficult place to come and we were really on it today in terms of our shape and our discipline. Luton arent a bad side at all. They have had a tough time recently but before that they have been in the top three challenging so to come here and get a clean sheet and the three points is a fantastic result."
Luton looked the more likely side to score in the opening period but failed to take any of their chances which gave Albion the impetus for an improved second half showing, something the skipper admitted they needed to produce.
"The game opened up for us in the second period" Moose explained, "I think that was partly due to Luton's high intensity in the first half and whether they could keep that up or not. In this division not many teams can so the game opened up and we got hold of ourselves and kept the ball a lot better than we had done in the first half. We made fewer mistakes and by doing that you make the opposition work that much harder. It was really pleasing to see the reaction in the second half as we werent pleased with our first half performance."
The hosts were perhaps slightly aggrieved not to take something from the game but the Brewers defence afforded keeper Jon McLaughlin good protection to the extent that Luton failed to register an effort on target in the 90 minutes as John went on:
"Jon had a couple of things to do which he did brilliantly and they blazed one over the bar which was probably their best chance. Apart from that we kept them at bay. They have scored a lot of goals even though they havent been winning games recently. By and large Jon didnt have that much to do and to be fair their keeper hasnt had that much to do either but we probably edged it on chances."
Mousinho is now a relieved man having been on nine yellow cards since the Plymouth game on Good Friday. Another yellow card in either the Wycombe or Luton games would have seen the influential skipper serve a two match ban at a crucial stage of the season but that danger has now passed. Something not lost on the man entrusted with the armband since Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink became manager.
"That had obviously been hanging over me since the Plymouth game. I had to be a bit more switched on and a bit less rash and obviously make sure I didnt get another yellow. Obviously if I had had to take one then I would have done because at this stage the points are more important in the bank but fortunately I have got through that now and I am available for the rest of the season."
Albion do not now play until Wednesday, by which time the rest of League 2 will have already played on Tuesday evening and there is a possibility that if other results go in Burton's favour that Hasselbaink's men could secure a place in League One with victory over struggling Carlisle United. Mousinho admitted that whilst the players may cast a glance at other results what really matters is how the Brewers do in their match. Only concentrating on what they themselves can affect.
"We do look at the other results but we dont honestly care about them." said John, "It is the same on Tuesday, it doesnt really matter what the other sides do if we go out and do the business on Wednesday then we will be fine. We need to go out with our attacking intent but also maintaining our discipline against Carlisle. We have to look to go out and win the game. That is the be all and end all. We might well have a look at the results on Tuesday but we know it is about us and what we do."