Victor Adeboyejo wants the end of Wanderers’ FA Cup campaign to provide a catalyst for the remainder of the Whites’ promotion push, writes Pete Oliver.
The Whites bowed out of the Cup at the third-round stage with Tuesday night’s 2-1 replay defeat to Luton Town.
Ian Evatt’s men couldn’t quite pull off an upset but Adeboyejo believes the way they played against the Premier League side should give Wanderers even more impetus as they bid for a fifth successive League One win at in-form Leyton Orient on Saturday.
“We wanted to go out and put our best foot forward,” said Adeboyejo, who gave the Luton defence a torrid time and set up Dion Charles’ early opener.
“Luton are a top side who are going well in the Premier League and we wanted to show we could compete at that level. I think everyone to a man showed that they can do that. As a team we showed what we are capable of.
“Of course, you want to play well but what matters is the end result. Unfortunately Luton have come and got the result and good luck to them in the next round.
“But it's something we can take a lot of pride in, in terms of our performance, and if we take that into the league then I'm sure we're going to be on the right side of that come the end of the season.”
Wanderers haven’t completed a league game since their New Year’s Day win over Burton Albion following the tragic events of last Saturday’s abandoned fixture against Cheltenham Town.
The Whites now sit fourth in the League One table but with two games in hand on the sides immediately above them and three in hand on leaders Portsmouth, they remain perfectly placed to sustain a challenge.
With the Cheltenham fixture re-arranged for next Tuesday night and 22 games still to play – as well as a quarter-final of the Bristol Street Motors Trophy – Evatt’s side has lots of football to play.
But Adeboyejo is relishing the workload with all sights on hunting down Portsmouth’s two-point lead at the top of the table and staying in the thick of the promotion action.
“Now we can focus on trying to do our best in the league and, of course, in the other cup as well,” added the striker, whose own confidence should have soared on the back of two top-class showings against Luton.
“The main aim is promotion this season and that's what everyone is working to get towards. Of course, it's going to be tough and we're going to need everybody but when we put in performances like that (in the replay) then we give ourselves a nice opportunity to get there.
“We're not scared about the amount of games we've got. We know the squad we have and we know the players we have and we know we can compete, no matter how fast the games come.
“For us it's just about focusing on the next one and being focused on the challenge ahead. The next one is Leyton Orient, so everybody is ready and prepared mentally to go there and try and get a result and get us back up where we need to be in the table.”
Watch Vic’s full post-match interview following the Luton FA Cup tie on Wanderers TV