Still slams ‘atrocious’ Whaddon Road surface

Shaun Whalley celebrates his opener at Cheltenham
Shaun Whalley celebrates his opener at Cheltenham

Hatters boss John Still was scathing in his criticism of the Whaddon Road playing surface after Luton were held to a 1-1 draw by Cheltenham Town this afternoon.

The Town chief labelled the pitch, which the Robins share with non-league side Gloucester City AFC, as ‘atrocious’ and felt it was nigh on impossible for either team to play on.

He said: “It was a battling performance. We’ve worked really hard, I think we’ve had the majority of the game, (Mark) Tyler’s not really had too much, other than the goal, to do, but the pitch is atrocious.

“You’ve got to play in all conditions, so I’m not going to necessarily moan about that, but to play how we want to play, the way we’re best at, touch pass, pass move, not a chance.

“It was get the ball up the other end and challenge and try and win it. We did okay at that, but to try and create a flowing opportunity (was impossible).

“Jake’s (Howells), three or four times he’s got past the man in the wide area, but you can’t cross it, because it’s bobbling as the pitch is atrocious.

“You can’t get a true run of the ball and there were a couple of times in the first half, people have a touch and the ball just bounces all over the place.

“We said before the game, play in the other team’s half, we said at half time, play in the other team’s half and almost play off mistakes because it was so difficult to try and get a decent run.

“That’s both teams as I’m not saying it’s any different for them, but to provide the moments of quality that you hope you can provide was very, very difficult.

“I’m pleased with the effort and determination. I would have liked to come here on a good surface and played the way I think we can play and to provide a bit more quality and entertainment, but for both teams it’s impossible.”

One aspect that did please Still was how Hatters didn’t capitulate the way they had at Morecambe before Christmas, when falling to a 3-0 defeat.

He added: “What I was happy about, we went away to Morecambe and didn’t play the conditions and got beat 3-0.

“We came away and played the conditions, got something from the game, with a little bit of luck might have got something more.

“We’ve learned a lesson from that, players have learned a lesson from that.”

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