Still remains philosophical over Town’s pre-season preparation despite Maidenhead win

Hatters chief John Still is remaining philosophical over Luton Town’s pre-season campaign despite another good win Maidenhead United on Saturday, writes Mark Wood.
Maidenhead United v Luton Town. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 30.Maidenhead United v Luton Town. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 30.
Maidenhead United v Luton Town. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 30.

The 1-0 victory was Town’s second-straight triumph, but Still is adamant you can’t read too much into pre-season.

He said: “I don’t think it matters too much who you play, I think they’re always tough games, pre-season games are always tough games whoever you play, always tough and I never get carried away pre-season. I never get carried away when it’s been great and I’ll never get carried away when it’s poor.

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“I don’t know if it was my Maidstone year or my Dagenham year when we won promotion I don’t think we won a game pre-season and yet funnily enough I was happy with what we’d done.

“Then you have other pre-seasons where you beat everybody and can’t win a game when you start, so I think that the things that you look for are getting the people fit, getting the people organised and getting them to understand their job and if they haven’t quite got their job by the time the season starts they normally fall into it.”

Striker Andre Gray was glad it was cooler on Saturday and believed it helped several of the players to get through a full 90 minutes, saying: “It’s been a long hot summer for me, but it was a bit colder today so that helped.

“It’s been tough but I think as you can see the boys they look a lot fitter than they probably did last season and that’s my first 90 minutes and I was blowing a little bit but I still felt strong considering that’s the first I’ve had in a long while now. It’s all going to benefit us in the long run and I think throughout the pre-season we’ll get even fitter.”

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And he knows you have to take the positives out of pre-season, like the glamour of Tuesday night’s visit of Premier League Aston Villa, and weigh them against the hard work that also goes in.

Gray said: “It’s just a case of getting fit really and obviously you want to be able to enjoy some of the games as well because that’s what they’re there for. It’s not always best coming to somebody’s place where some of the pitches are not great and the grass is long. You need to get both sides of pre-season out of the way and get the nasty bits and get the good bits and try and mix it together and get our match sharpness back.”

And with Luton’s squad virtually complete Still is glad he won’t have to assimilate anyone new into their style of play later in the season.

Injuries mean one or two Town players are yet to play a part in pre-season, but Still added: “We haven’t really got to infiltrate anybody into our method and our understanding. Everyone that’s here has been here long enough now to fit in. One or two have had knocks, like Alex Lawless, so he’s not had anything yet, but it’s not terrible and he was here last year so he’s got a bit of what I want to do anyhow. I’m quite comfortable with that side of it.”