Still ready to expect the unexpected

Hatters' management team
Hatters' management team

Hatters boss John Still wasn’t picking out any promotion favourites from League Two this season, preferring to look at them all as potential winners.

Although Town and Portsmouth have been tipped by many bookies for the title, Still wasn’t paying any attention to that ahead of the season opener at Carlisle United.

He said: “Over the years, I’ve learnt to be prepared for the unexpected, expect the unexpected.

“The year we won the Conference with Dagenham, we would have been rank outsiders, 40-1, some said.

“I wouldn’t like to guess what price we would have been to get out of Division Two into Division One, but we did.

“Every team is a potential danger, every team is a potential championship winner and we have to treat every team like that.

“Even after 10-15 games, we may go to a team that are right down the bottom, lots of teams have shown they are a potential banana skin and we have to make sure we don’t treat any team differently.

“If we’re playing Portsmouth, who I would think would be one of the favourites and the’re getting 16-18,000 people, or we’re playing Dagenham with not such a bigger crowd, there’s going to be no less danger, we have to make sure we can do that.”

Still isn’t worred if his side don’t hit the ground running in their new surroundings this campaign either.

The boss pointed to last year when Town lost on the opening day to Southport, and took just 10 points from a possible 24 before winning the title from Cambridge United by a country mile.

He added: “I don’t forget last year, we had a fantastic pre-season last year and then lost 1-0 at Southport.

“We started a bit slow and we had scored lots of goals pre-season, but we didn’t score lots of goals once the season started.

“One or two players were a little bit behind and I’m sure that will happen this year, our leading scorer (Andre Gray) was a little bit behind, didn’t start well but got into it.

“I’m sensible enough to realise that it can take a little bit of time, it won’t all fall into place on day one.

“If it does, we’ll probably have a blip somewhere because that’s just how the game is at all levels, I’m experienced enough to understand that.”

If Town do run into trouble at any stage in the season though, Still believes he is experienced enough to cope, adding: “We might get going and we might not be as good as I hope we’ll be.

“This year if we have a problem, it’s can we find the right answer to the problem? Only time will tell. I’ve tried to make the squad strong enough to deal with things that might come along like that.

“Once I know what the necessary changes and adaptions are we need to make, I’ll do them.

“But I have to do them in my own time and in my own way, because if I can do that the longevity of what we’re doing is going to be good.

“We can build a club and it can keep growing long after me as it will be left in a strong, strong position.”