Still highlights positives in Gills defeat

Dan Potts
Dan Potts

Hatters boss John Still was fulsome in praise of his side despite their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy exit at the hands of Gillingham on Tuesday night.

Luton made five changes for the clash against their League One opponents, while also opting for a triple substitution at the break, giving both Danny Green and Ryan Hall run outs.

“I’m absolutely delighted with the group of players who’ve been involved.”

John Still

The Hatters had led through Cameron McGeehan’s fifth of the season, before Max Ehmer and Bradley Dack netted after the break as Still said: “I was delighted with our performance, I thought first half we controlled it.

“Second half, they’ve come into it, but we’ve made some more changes and I wouldn’t have put a team out that I didn’t think could win.

“In the end, we’ve pushed again and I was really, really pleased.

“I thought it was a really, really, really good first half, football-wise, we had to work our socks off second half.

“One or two people like Magnus (Okuonghae) and Mark O’Brien haven’t played a lot defensively and (Dan) Potts, so they probably got a little bit tired at the end.

“But it was valuable time for them and they’ve all put in good performances, so I’m absolutely delighted with the group of players who’ve been involved.”

With the likes of Alex Lawless, Okuonghae and O’Brien getting run-outs, while Nathan Doyle had 90 minutes too, Still felt whatever the result, it was a worthwhile exercise.

He added: “I’m always disappointed when you lose but I’m a realist.

“It’s important that the people who played got that time because they have to show that they’re ready to come and play if we’ve got a problem regular first team wise.

“Some of these boys haven’t had enough football, that’s not their fault, it’s just the way it is, but I say everyone has done their bit.

“We went with Lawless at right back who did very, very well, Magnus and O’Brien playing together at first team level.

“Doyle was very good, he lasted the game well, Pottsy was very good, while early on I thought Olly Lee, Cam and Gutts (Luke Guttridge) were terrific.

“Getting Green on and Hally on was to give them the time that they deserve, in a little bit of unfamiliar positions, so I thought they did ever so well.

“I’m disappointed to lose, of course I am, but more happy than disappointed.”