Hatters boss Nathan Jones isn’t anticipating any sentiment to be shown towards former manager John Still when he makes his return to Kenilworth Road with Dagenham & Redbridge this evening.
The hugely popular 66-year-old will be back at the club he led to the Conference title in the 2013-14 season and will undoubtedly receive a great ovation from the home faithful.
“I think he’ll get a good reception here because of what he’s done because it’s not easy getting a team out of the Conference.”Nathan Jones
However, Jones doesn’t expect his players, many of them who were signed by Still, to be in a similar charitable mood on the pitch, as he said: “Well I hope they won’t be doing him any favours. In football you come across a lot of people you’ve played with, played for and I would as a player never have any sentiment.
“I whole-heartedly played for the badge that I was wearing and if that meant upsetting anyone from the opposition, I didn’t mind doing that, and then afterwards it was forgotten about.
“That’s the attitude that we have to have, there’s no sentiment in football. I hope we’ll show no sentiment and I’m sure that John Still isn’t going to either.”
On Still, who was relieved of his duties by Town in December, after a 4-3 home defeat to Northampton, Jones continued: “I know him very well and have spoken to him since I’ve taken the job here.
“I know John, I dealt with John before, when he was here, when he was at Dagenham, I’ve played against his teams, so I know him very well.
“He’s a lovely man, a really, really good man. I haven’t worked with him closely enough to have any kind of judgement on how he is, but he’s had success at the levels he’s been at.
“I really enjoy his company and speaking to him. I think he’ll get a good reception here because of what he’s done because it’s not easy getting a team out of the Conference, it’s not easy rebuilding and putting new things in place.
“But he did a good job here and now I’ve been entrusted with the task of taking the club forward. I’m looking forward to seeing John but we have to concentrate on what we do.
“I’m wary of a backlash, as against Stevenage we had a lot of people coming back and so on, but we have to concentrate on what we do and that’s all we can affect.”
Meanwhile, Jones is also well aware that veteran Jamie Cureton, Daggers’ top scorer with eight in all competitions at the tender age of 40, is still a threat to his side, adding: “I know him very well, he’s a very dangerous player. We need to be wary of the threats they have, they have a number of individual threats, but we do as well, we have a number of individual threats that they need to be wary of.”