Still confident the best is yet to come for Mackail-Smith

Craig Mackail-Smith
Craig Mackail-Smith

Hatters striker boss John Still believes striker Craig Mackail-Smith is well on course to have an even bigger impact for the club this season.

The forward was Luton’s stand out signing of the summer as after being released by Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion, he put pen to paper on a two year deal at Kenilworth Road.

“It’s building bricks a little bit at the moment and he’s doing very, very well.”

John Still

Mackail-Smith has netted twice in seven games so far, but a lot of best work, particularly away from home, has often come in the channels, as he hasn’t had a great deal of actual goalscoring opportunities.

However, after completing back-to-back 90 minutes against Cambridge and Notts County, Still believes being in the position to finish off chances is the next step, as he said: “He needs to carry on doing exactly what he’s doing here. He’s still getting better, he’ll improve.

“Craig’s not played a lot of football, and it’s important you break things down in stages.

“Get him working for the team, find him in the right role for the team, to get the team up the pitch, as Craig Mackail-Smith hasn’t got to win, the team’s got to win.

“If Craig Mackail-Smith scores 20 goals and we finish half way, will we be happy? No. If Craig Mackail-Smith gets 12 goals and we’re in the top three, will we be happy be? We’d be delighted.

“At the moment we’re working very hard with Craig on making the runs to stretch teams, get us high up the pitch. When we continually do that and his fitness levels grow, we can then get him doing his other runs which is going in to out and out to in.

“It’s building bricks a little bit at the moment and he’s doing very, very well. He’s giving us opportunities to score goals with his work-rate.

“Don’t forget I’ve had Craig for a long time, so I’ve known him for a long time, but it’s really important that we work on the team first and not the individual.”

The performances of the former Peterborough and Dagenham striker, particularly at Meadow Lane on Saturday, has certainly earned glowing reviews from his team-mates as Jonathan Smith said: “I thought Mackail-Smith was running them ragged at times.

“If we can start grinding a few clean sheets out, we’re definitely good for goals, especially with Mackail-Smith as he is so dangerous up there.”

That view was echoed by midfielder Cameron McGeehan, who added: “Mackail-Smith has been awesome and was carrying the team up the pitch which is what he’s been doing the last few games, especially away from home.

“He hasn’t had the goals yet, but it’s good that he’s getting his fitness back now and is terrorising defenders.”