Hatters boss knows U’s win is just a small step

Craig Mackail-Smith was back to his best according to boss John Still
Craig Mackail-Smith was back to his best according to boss John Still
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Hatters boss John Still hailed his side’s ‘commanding’ display at Cambridge United yesterday, but wasn’t getting overly excited by the first league win of the season.

Goals from Luke Guttridge, Luke Wilkinson and Danny Green saw Luton triumph 3-1, ending a run of three straight defeats, with Town scoring three on their travels for the first time since returning to the Football League last season.

“As I keep saying I think we’ve done all right, we’ve had a little bit of misfortune, but I think we’ve done all right.”

John Still

Still said: “The team’s played very, very well, I’m very pleased, but it’s a small step on a long road. We’re still making steps and we were outstanding in what gets billed almost like a local derby, we handled that very well.

“I thought we controlled the game, I thought their biggest threat was restarts, corners, free kicks. We fouled too many times first half and it was the first time this season I raised my voice.

“I said their chances of scoring I felt in general play was low, but their chance of scoring from restarts is very high, so what does that tell us?

“None of the back four fouled at all in the second half and I thought we played some terrific football.

“As I keep saying I think we’ve done all right, we’ve had a little bit of misfortune, but I think we’ve done all right.

“We haven’t been great but we’ve been playing better and better, the team’s getting stronger, people are getting more familiar and we played very well.”

Still also believes his side are finally starting to reap the benefits from key players getting back to full fitness after a punishing pre-season regime and a lack of football last term.

The boss, who admitted Elliot Justham would have started in place of Mark Tyler, only for his partner to give birth the evening before, added: “Craig is now getting back to proper, proper fitness. We have done everything right, we haven’t rushed him, we’ve trained him and done everything we believe we can do as this is a long, long season and I thought he was absolutely immense.

“We know Josh (McQuoid) is getting really fit, Gutts played the other day so we left him there, Olly’s (Lee) come in and done really well.

“Luke Wilkinson has done very, very well and we felt that back four we just wanted to play it together for a few times to see how solid it was.

“It’s not a rebuff on Steve McNulty who was fantastic the other night (against Leyton Orient), I just want to keep that back unit together as we feel it has got a little bit about it.

“But we also know that if Steve plays then we’ll probably be saying the same. I just think now we’re getting all players up to speed.

“Green’s another one, he came here having not played a lot of football last year and would have thought pre-season training would have taken so much out of him.

“He knew what was coming as he played for me before, same as Craig, he played for me before. These players know it will take a little bit of time, but you’ve got to be patient, got to encourage.

“As I sometimes perhaps over emphasise, sometimes we don’t look too sharp at the start of the season, but once it gets underway, I think we do.”