Hatters boss John Still is relishing the chance to pit his wits against Stoke City boss Mark Hughes this evening.
Although Still hasn’t had many dealings with Hughes in the past, he was full of respect for what the Welshman has achieved in his career so far with stints at Wales, Blackburn and Fulham.
“He was a fantastic player and he’s grown into a good manager.”John Still
Speaking about the ex-Manchester United and Barcelona attacker, Still said: “I met him at LMA dinner a while back, but we haven’t really crossed paths and he isn’t someone I’ve known.
“But what I do know is he was a fantastic player and he’s grown into a good manager. He’s not always been at fashionable clubs, he’s gone there and worked really, really hard to produce decent teams.
“So his knowledge and experience will be first class. That’s good for all of us, for me too, you match up.
“It’s the ‘do haves’ and the ‘don’t haves’. That’s what’s great about football, the ‘do haves’ have to now and again play these games.
“To come down and play a team a couple of levels lower, it keeps them grounded.
“For us, it’s an opportunity to play in these games and produce good performances, and more important than good performances, they’ve got to be disciplined performances.”
Hughes led the Potters to ninth in the Premier League last season and Still paid tribute to the jobs both he and former boss Tony Pulis have done at the Britannia Ground.
He continued: “Every year they’ve got stronger and I thought the job that Tony Pulis did there was absolutely remarkable, to establish them as a really, really good side.
“Mark’s come in and slightly changed things and carried that on, but the foundation of the club and the understanding of what’s required, I think that Tony had a massive, massive part in that.
“From a solid foundation that they built through Tony, Mark has grown that and done a terrific job himself.
“Stoke are a fantastic football club and are growing, but lets hope that they don’t grow too much against us.”
Finally, on the match itself, Still added: “It’s a terrific game for players and a good game for all of us, to play Premier League opposition is fantastic, but the players earned that in the last game.
“I near enough always detach league and cup, although our best performance this season has been in the cup.
“We played really, really well against Bristol, and we need that level of performance on Tuesday evening.”