Still backs Guttridge to play a major role

Luke Guttridge
Luke Guttridge

Hatters boss John believes midfielder Luke Guttridge will still be a major player for Hatters this season.

The 32-year-old was one of Luton’s most influential stars last term, as he scored 13 league goals until injury curtailed his campaign early on.

But Guttridge has found himself reduced to a watching role of late, playing just one minute in the last five league games, that a late sub appearance at Hartlepool, as Town have produced six straight victories.

Still said: “We’re managing him, but he could play and I’m sure he’s going to feature as he’s such a good player, but it’s not easy to mess around with the team at the moment.

“If you were going Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, you might think I’ll make a little change here, but it goes back to Saturday’s now and it’s not easy to mess around with something too much.

“Gutts had the problem with his foot and we tried to be careful with him, tried to manage him. (Andy) Drury’s doing terrific but Gutts is probably ready, that’s the competition we’re finding, so we’re pleased with that.”

Midfield in particular is where Hatters have plenty of strength in depth, with the likes of Matt Robinson and Jim Stevenson both struggling to get a game due to the signing of Nathan Doyle and Jonathan Smith’s return to full fitness.

Still continued: “If I’m a midfield player and doing well and everyone behind me is producing good performances in training and good performances in games, I’m saying to myself I’ve got to be on it.

“As if I’m not and I come out, they might go on another good run, and I’m not going to play.

“It’s not his fault, but Matt Robinson I thought was doing really well but got suspended and now can’t get back in with (Nathan) Doyle, (Jonathan) Smith, (Andy) Drury all doing so well.”

Still is also slowly introducing the lesser experienced members of his squad at selected times to ensure they are ready to be called up as the season goes on.

He added: “We played Ricky (Miller) and we thought it was good he’s had a taste of it now.

“Alex Wall has featured, Charlie Walker has featured and particularly the newer players, we’re gradually introducing them, getting them used to it.

“The travel, the atmosphere at home, so come Christmas time we shouldn’t have anyone in the team or the squad who we’re not sure about and they should be able to handle that.”