Braintree is no benchmark for Still as Hatters are right on course

Welling v Luton Town. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 46.Welling v Luton Town. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 46.
Welling v Luton Town. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 46.
Creating history and winning at Cressing Road for the first time this evening will not be an indication of how far the Hatters have come according to Town chief John Still, writes Mark Wood.

Having lost there twice before, including 2-0 last term when Still had first taken charge, he will not be reading too much into this result alone.

He said: “I don’t think one game ever can (tell you that much) because we could go to Braintree and we could win 4-0 and lose the next three games because that’s football.

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“I think you’ve got to look at periods, very rarely do I look at a game, I look at groups of games.”

“From hereon, the next group of games I’ll look at the end of that.

“It’s not possible to be affected good or bad by one performance so I would never look at that.

“Last year the team went to Braintree in February, hadn’t long lost their manager, might have felt they weren’t going to make the play-offs or whatever and there could be some despondency for those reasons.

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“Could be, I’m not saying there was. I can’t even remember if there were injuries, or anything.”

And the Hatters are almost exactly on target for where Still wanted to be at this point in the season, as he continued: “I started off to be honest at eight games this season, and I then went to the next eight games, and I think we’ve played 17 now.

“I normally do it in groups, this next one is slightly bigger group of games I’m looking at.

“I look at the first eight and I looked at 16. In my mind I had a feeling of where we might be, and a feeling of where I hoped we would be in terms of position and points.

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“And we were almost bang on, so I was pleased with that. I can’t control where the other teams are, I can only control where we are. So I was quite pleased with that.”

FA Cup and Trophy runs in previous seasons have led to the Hatters’ fixture list becoming extremely congested.

But Still was annoyed to have gone out of the FA Cup at the weekend and doesn’t believe it will have any bearing on how they perform in the league.

“No I don’t think so, not at all,” he said. “I want to win every game we play, and if that leads to more games then we’ll deal with more games.

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“Whatever happened on Saturday will have no influence on where we finish in the league.

“Only people that make excuses would say that. I want to concentrate on whatever game we play, be it the Bedfordshire Senior Cup...

“I would only ever pick a team I think can win. I would never pick a team and go, ‘I’m not really sure it can win’.

“I would never do that, and I’m never going to do it either. I’ll pick a team I think can win.”

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And he added: “One game you can never be affected by. It’s like if you lose to someone like we did at Welling.

“We might play them in a league game and win 2-0 and someone says to you, ‘does that make up for getting beat in the cup?’

“No it doesn’t make up for that, we lost in the FA Cup, no it doesn’t make it up because it’s gone.

“We can never get them points back, I’m not a one-off person.

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“All I know is the best team wins the league. The best team doesn’t win the cup, the best in England last year wasn’t Wigan. It wasn’t, they won the cup. Manchester United were the best team last year, they won the league.

“The best team wins the league, it always does, all those games you’ve got to play. I never worry about one game.”