Bashful Hatters boss John Still was almost lost for words as Town’s travelling supporters celebrated their superb 2-1 victory at Grimsby Town on Tuesday night by brandishing a banner saying ‘John Still is God’, writes Mark Wood.
Goals from Matt Robinson and Paul Benson won it for Luton on the night after ex-Hatter Scott Neilson had given the Mariners the lead, and Still was chuffed his counter-attacking masterclass had paid off.
He said: “It was a fantastic away performance against a team that I think would possibly look at the table and go, if we got a result today and if we win our game in hand we put pressure on them and we understood that and had that really at Cambridge as well, but we’ve dealt with it.
“And I thought we dealt with it today fantastic. I thought the gameplan was absolutely first class. We felt that they’d try and cross lots of ball in so instead of playing one off the front man we played Cameron (McGeehan) deep, but one to 11, from goalkeeper up to Alex Lawless, it was a fantastic performance, full of determination, effort, desire, like you need away from home, and good quality.
“So I thought that in the situation we’re in now with eight games to go, I think that was a fantastic performance. I’m pleased with myself!”
Still was clearly shocked by the banner, as he continued: “I did (see it), yeah. Very nice, but I’m just part of the team.
“We’re winning and long may it continue! It’s really, really nice, but I’m only part of the team.”
But the feeling is clearly mutual, as he said: “Since I’ve been here I’ve been aware of the fantastic support, I think from a little bit into the season.
“When we got going and got this team ethic going and we had a little moan from someone...
“Since then they have been as much of a team off the pitch as we have on it.
“There’s 400 and something of them and if I could have done I would have shaken hands with them all. Kiss the women, but shaken hands with the men! Absolutely fantastic.”
Still has made a massive difference since taking charge last year, helping to revitalise the club’s fortunes as last night’s victory helped move the Hatters 17 points clear of nearest rivals Cambridge United at the top of the Skrill Premier.
Former player at Dagenham & Redbridge, Scott Griffiths, has played a key role in Town’s rise this term and was full of praise for his boss.
He said: “He has made a big difference. I’ve played with him before at Dagenham - I’ll probably get some stick for mentioning Dagenham!
“I’ve played with him before, I know what he is capable of, he brings players in, it doesn’t matter where they come from, he seems to have an eye for people.
“The hard work I think is the thing he looks for because he can make a player better and, as long as you’ve got the spirit to work hard, he just knows how to bring a team together.”
And he too was full of praise for Town’s supporters, adding: “There were 400 there but I’m sure there were 4,000 in spirit.
“The support, I’ve said it all season, and I’m going to say it again, has been second to none, I’ve never seen anything like it.
“It’s a top class performance from them, 12th man again.”