Still always had faith in Hatters’ young stars

Jake Howells in action against WrexhamJake Howells in action against Wrexham
Jake Howells in action against Wrexham
Hatters boss John Still admitted he always believed his fledgling side could knock holders Wrexham out of the FA Trophy this afternoon, writes Mike Simmonds.

Still made wholesale changes to his team, retaining just Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu from the XI who hammered Alfreton last weekend.

Opponents Wrexham made just two alterations to their side, demonstrating how seriously they wanted a trip to Wembley once more, but found Hatters far too strong for them as Town eased through.

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Still said: “It was absolutely terrific. I said all along that I want to try and develop a young group of players here and that’s what we’ve done.

“I thought they were more than worthy of winning, I really did. I thought 1-0 at half time was an injustice as we were better than that.

“I made a point to the players, one thing I couldn’t do, my profession doesn’t allow me, is pick a team that I think will lose.

“I’ve got to pick a team I believe will win, and I believed the team I picked today would win, and it did.

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“It’s easy to say that now, but I really believed that the team could win. I thought it had enough about it, had lots of energy, enough pace, enough raw talent and I just felt that for most of the game we were in control.”

Town chose a hugely inexperienced midfield three, with Matt Robinson alongside Ruddock Mpanzu and youth teamer Ian Rees on his full debut, but they had too much for the likes of seasoned campaigners Dean Keates and Jay Harris, who was sent off for two bookings.

Still added: “We looked at the way they play, one sitting there and try to dictate the play, and tried to take that away from them,.

“I don’t think they could handle Robbo, his energy levels were too great.

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“Harris and Keates are decent footballers, but Robbo made them run and Pelly made them run and Reesy made them run.

“We had too much legs and energy in midfield. All three players could all play, but they could all run, and that helped us dominate the play.

“But that’s today, we’ve got other games to come. I’m just delighted with that and now we’ve got to look forward.”

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