Still backs striking duo to step up

Charlie Walker

Charlie Walker

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Luton Town boss John Still has backed Charlie Walker and Ricky Miller to step up to the mark if called upon this Saturday.

Hatters have been hit by a host of injury problems to attacking players ahead of their trip to Bury in the FA Cup with striker Paul Benson out for six weeks, while Alex Lawless, Shaun Whalley, Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu and Luke Guttridge are all missing too.

Between them, Miller and Walker have both caught the eye during their fleeting appearances since moving to Kenilworth Road in the summer, with Miller scoring twice, as Still said: “They’re two people that have deserved a chance.

“The team’s been on a good run though and they’ve been on the periphery so far. Charlie came on at Stevenage and Ricky’s been on a couple of times and scored, so they’ve both made a case for a start.

“This will be an opportunity for one if not both at some point in the game to step up to the plate and say I’m here, I am ready for 90 minutes.

“There was going to come a time where they both had to do so and it makes it quite exciting as well. I do love to see that happen, but you have to play them to see if they’re ready, so I think they’ll be ready.”

Still also reiterated his stance on the so-called fringe players in the squad taking their chance and following Fraser Franks’ lead when he deputised for Luke Wilkinson against Mansfield on Saturday.

The boss said: “Whoever steps into that has got to come up with the goods.

“We tried to point out that if there’s anyone here, even the young ones, that looks upon themselves as a reserve team player, they’re at the wrong club.

“There’s people in the first team and people battling like hell to get into the first team.

“Everyone has got to have that attitude. Fraser stepped in like a first team player and that’s exactly how it should be.

“Whoever comes in Saturday has to view themselves as a first team player, ‘I’m here to play in the first team,’ that’s how it should be.

“Everyone’s here to play in the first team, they have to develop, but they should never look at themselves as a reserve team player because before too long that’s what they’ll become and I don’t really want that.”

Midfielder Matt Robinson could also come back into contention this weekend after completing his loan spell at Kidderminster Harriers.

Still added: “He did very well there, but I know Matt’s a decent player.

“I admire him, he didn’t want to go and was desperate to come back, but he needed to go and played the games he had to play to maintain his level of fitness.

“Now he’s going to try and dislodge people and he can only do that by training well and playing well in development games and waiting for his opportunity.

“At the moment (Jonathan) Smith has done very, very well, (Nathan) Doyle has done very, very well. Gutts (Luke Guttridge) and (Andy) Drury have both done well.

“Sometimes for whatever reason, an opportunity doesn’t come, so it’s vital when they do happen, you make the most of it.

“Whoever is going to be involved Saturday needs to make the most of it.”