Still urges players to take their FA Trophy chance against Cambridge United

Reading Development v Luton Town Development. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 02.Reading Development v Luton Town Development. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 02.
Reading Development v Luton Town Development. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 02.
Town chief John Still is looking for the squad he selects for Saturday’s FA Trophy tie at Cambridge United to put pressure on their first team team-mates, writes Mark Wood.

The Luton manager looks set to name a much-changed line-up for their third round tie from the side that drew 0-0 with Lincoln City on Saturday.

He said: “It’s an opportunity for some of these lads now to do what they’ve been doing, which is keep reminding me.

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“With the greatest of respect, Matt Robinson kept reminding me, Jake Howells kept reminding me and they’re both playing now.

“I think it’s important in these games that people keep reminding me what they can do, so I’m quite pleased that they do keep reminding me.

“People thinks it makes the job harder, but it makes it easier.”

A very strong Luton team beat Reading 4-1 in a development match at the Madejski Stadium on Monday, with returning striker Jon Shaw on target after playing around half an hour as a sub.

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Having not played a first team game since the goalless league draw against the U’s in August he’s hoping to be involved after a frustrating spell on the sidelines.

The 30-year-old said: “To be honest with you it’s just good to be back involved.

“I’ve been training now for a couple of weeks so it’s little bits and bobs here and there.

“It’s been frustrating as everybody can imagine, especially seeing the lads do so well and not being a part of it and at the same time being proud of them all.

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“To get out there and finally get half an hour and pain-free it’s a good feeling.

“Si the physio and Daz and Dave Richardson have done everything possible and we’re back fit and up and running.

“I’ve had a history with getting to semi-finals and it’s a competition I’ve always wanted to win.

“So even though people aren’t too keen on it, as players you want to have success in any cup run and any league you’re in.

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“To me it’s another game, but hopefully it’s another possibility of a Wembley trip.”

Shaw played a full part against Reading late on, also heading down for starlet Zane Banton to hit a post late on.

“That’s kind of what Benno’s (Paul Benson) been doing for Andre (Gray) and it’s kind of what the role I’ve been playing in as well as Benno, who’s been scoring goals,” he said.

“But that’s probably my main role in the team if I’m playing, being up there, leaning in and trying to hold up and link the play for people.

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“So it’s good to be up there, especially with young Zane, he’s fast, he’s sharp around the box and you always fancy him to get near a chance.

“The way we’re playing, we’re going to see a lot of the ball played up front, which is great for us.”

The likes of Solomon Taiwo and Anthony Charles also came through the Royals victory, while it is too early to know if recovering defenders Alex Lacey and Andy Parry will be able to play a part.

Still added: “I don’t really worry about putting pressure on them (title rivals Cambridge). It’s just a matter of giving the players that I think have done really, really well another opportunity to impress.

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“Whoever that would be against, it’s immaterial it’s Cambridge, it doesn’t matter, I’m just interested in my team, and to give these people the opportunity to put pressure on the people that are keeping them out of the first team at the moment.

“With Matt Robinson and Jake Howells, they’ve done it, they’ve done that well in those development games and the FA Trophy games that they’ve forced their way into the team through whatever reason and played well and that’s what we want to do.”