Hayrettin unsure whether board will call time on Still’s reign

John Still was jeered off against Northampton this afternoon
John Still was jeered off against Northampton this afternoon

Hatters first team coach Hakan Hayrettin admitted he wasn’t sure whether manager John Still would remain in charge of the club after this afternoon’s 4-3 defeat to Northampton Town.

In the aftermath of Town’s loss, their fourth in all competition and second successive 4-3 reverse at home, members of the board, including chief executive Gary Sweet and vice chairman David Wilkinson, had a very public meeting in the directors box.

“We’re not in control of what they’re going to do with the manager, but all we can do is support the manager.”

Hakan Hayrettin

When asked if he expected Still to continue, Hayrettin said: “I don’t know, I don’t really know what they’re going to do.

“We’re not in control of what they’re going to do with the manager, but all we can do is support the manager and back the manager 100 per cent, like we have done and go again.”

Hayrettin was sent up to speak to the press in Still’s absence and on why that was the case, he continued: “The manager’s got some people in there he’s talking to, so it’s not an issue, it’s just go and do it which is fine by me.

“I can assure you now that there’s no hidden agenda, he just wanted me to come out and do it.

“Win or lose, I’ll be here if I’m selected to do it. It’s not an issue, we’ll continue to work hard, do the right things and off we go again next week.”

Luton were booed off at half time trailing 3-1, with the manager taking most of the criticism, while despite an improved second half, Ricky Holmes’ 69th minute winner saw further jeers for Still at the final whistle.

On whether the manager was affected by such personal abuse, Hayrettin said: “That you’ll have to ask him, I don’t think it stays him. He’s been in the game for 38 years, I don’t think that’s an issue for John.”

Hayrettin didn’t have any issue with the fans either as he said: “I can understand their frustration, I can also understand that they’re seeing their team and thinking ‘we shouldn’t be losing the way we’re losing.’

“I totally understand that. Yes, we should be doing better. Yes, we should be with the group of players we’ve got, in a higher position.

“We’re not for whatever reason and that’s their way of venting their frustrations out, but that’s normal in any football club.

“So we’ll just have to work very, very hard again and keep working hard as that’s all you can do to turn things around.

“Is he the kind of character John Still that’s going to say no I’m not? He’s not. From my experience he’s a stand up guy who’s going to work very very hard to put things right.

“I’ve known him for a long time, it is what it is, the crowd are 100 per cent right to vent their anger, we’ve got to try and deflect that away from the players.

“We’ve got to try and turn that negative into a positive, and by doing that we’ve got to win football matches, it’s as simple as that, but this proud football club has got a lot to play for.”

Striker Paul Benson also felt the fans had every right to make their feelings known, adding: “I haven’t got a problem with that, not at all, we were poor, if a fan has paid twenty five quid and can’t shout their dissatisfaction at half time, then when can they shout it?

“From a players point of view, that doesn’t hinder my performance, I think it bucked a few people, as a few people heard it and thought, ‘that’s not good enough.’

“It helped us by voicing their displeasure, I can’t speak for the gaffer, but for the players, it didn’t hinder my performance and gave a few players a reminder they need to start doing their job better.”