Luton Town legend John Still insists the Hatters 'will stay up'

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Former boss has his say on the club’s survival chances

Luton’s form in recent weeks has seen former manager John Still become increasingly confident that Town can win their fight to stay in the Premier League this season, declaring the Hatters ‘will stay up.’

The 73-year-old got the ball rolling to Town finding themselves in this position, taking over 11 years ago in February 2013, leading the club back into the Football League when they romped to the Conference title with 101 points in May 2014. He then left with Luton in League Two in December 2015, but was back at the Brache recently to help hand out a number of specially engraved footballs to members of the Town squad who have made their debut in the highest tier of English football this term, including Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, a player he signed on loan in November 2013 and then permanently a few months later.

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Although he had hoped his old side would achieve what many thought was impossible and remain in the top flight this term, speaking to Sky Sports, Still is growing increasingly confident that will now be the case after the Hatters went on a run of three wins from six recently. He said: “Rob Edwards is not just a terrific manager but a terrific person. They deserve every plaudit that they get. When someone asked me at the start of the season whether I thought Luton would stay up. I said I hope so, but it would be tough. My answer now has changed, they will stay up."

Former Luton boss John Still with Town midfielder Pelly Ruddock MpanzuFormer Luton boss John Still with Town midfielder Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu
Former Luton boss John Still with Town midfielder Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu

To do so, then Luton could really do with putting last weekend’s disappointing 3-1 defeat at home to Sheffield United behind them at the first opportunity, although with Manchester United in town tomorrow afternoon, that won’t be easy. Still, who once more downplayed his own achievements in Town’s revival, was speaking on the 10-year anniversary of the club's 7-0 win over Hereford at Kenilworth Road, when Andre Gray notched a hat-trick, as on the upcoming clash, he added: “I wouldn't rule out Luton, but it doesn't seem real that Luton are playing Manchester United in a league fixture. If you talk to the older element of football supporters, Man United are the figurehead of English and probably European football along with Barcelona and Real Madrid.

"Did I think they'd be in the Premier League this soon? Probably not but it doesn't surprise me they are. The whole structure has been geared to it. All the people and the board of directors are the same as when I was there. Everyone works diligently to provide the best opportunity for the club. It was always going to go up the leagues. If you leave something behind that other people can come in and add to rather than take away and destroy, that's fantastic. I try to do that. I get a lot of plaudits for my part in getting Luton to where they are but, in my mind, I have played a part but only a small part."