Still wary that Villa test shouldn’t turn into a ‘ball-chasing exhibition’

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.
Luton Town are relishing the visit of Premier League giants Aston Villa to Kenilworth Road on Tuesday night, but concede it could become a ‘ball-chasing exhibition’, writes Mark Wood.

Hatters’ heroes will be looking to vanquish the Villains who did just enough to beat the drop from the top flight last term.

Villa have indicated they will be bringing a strong squad as Town play their first home game of their pre-season preparations.

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On the game, boss John Still said: “Fantastic, I’m really pleased with Paul Lambert. I’ve know Paul for a long, long time and he’s a good pal. When I asked the question, there’s a few we felt we could have got. We only wanted one, otherwise you play three of four of them teams and you don’t get a touch of the ball.

“And it’s a good area for people to travel, it’s not too far for people to travel. We think it will be a fantastic game and we’re looking forward to it and I think it’s a good opportunity for Luton Town supporters to come and watch and see where their team will be one day.”

Town have enjoyed plenty of possession and created numerous chances in their pre-season friendlies so far against lower league opposition, losing 1-0 at Boreham Wood and winning 4-0 at Hitchin Town and 1-0 at Maidenhead United.

But this encounter is likely to be very different, as Still continued: “The object of the exercise up until now is to be fit, we’ve got a few games to go, but three in particular, which is Aston Villa, which could turn into a ball-chasing exhibition, but that’s OK because we can use that.

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“Then we’ve got Dagenham which is hopefully going to be a touch more even and that’ll be a good match and we’ve got Arsenal and we don’t know exactly what they’ll bring, but that could be a ball-chasing exercise, so we’ve got to use them for what they are and at the moment I’m pleased with individuals, we’ve just got to work a bit more on team organisation.”

Star striker Andre Gray is also looking forward to the encounter, saying: “We’ve played three games now against teams from the leagues below so it will be good to test ourselves and see where we’re at with our fitness levels because it will be tough for us and it will be good to be underdogs for once.

“I think pre-season doesn’t really say a lot because we could go and beat Villa 3-0 on Tuesday but they’re still in the Premiership and we’re still in the Conference Premiership.

“Obviously pre-season’s pre-season and I think it’s just about testing yourself and getting back to full sharpness.”

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The Villa game is followed by a trip to Dunstable Town, before the Hatters welcome Still’s former side Dagenham & Redbridge to Kenilworth Road on Saturday.

And he added: “I am looking forward to that. Obviously my associations there, I played there, I managed there, I had an unbelievable time there. So I’m looking forward to that, but that’s gone, I’ll be honest I’m not a person that particularly looks back. I’ve just had an unbelievable journey with Dagenham & Redbridge and I’ve turned a page now and I’m going to have an unbelievable time with Luton.”