Still relishing ‘needle’ surrounding Boro clash

John Still
John Still

Hatters manager John Still is going to relish his side’s League Two clash at near neighbours Stevenage tomorrow.

Luton have already sold out their 1,891 allocation, meaning it will as ever be one of the biggest crowds of the season for the home side.

“I think everyone loves to see a keenly contested game with a little bit of attitude about it.”

John Still

For Still, that’s just how he prefers it too, saying: “Last year, the two games with Stevenage were well contested affairs if you like, but I love these games.

“I think the games where there seems a little bit more on it, you can’t beat it. It gets your blood flowing and you’re a little big higher when you win and a little bit more down when you don’t.

“They’re the games you want to be involved in. You know they are going to be face to face and competitive, maybe a little bit of needle in it.

“It gives it an edge on and off the terraces. As long as no-one oversteps the mark, I think everyone loves to see a keenly contested game with a little bit of attitude about it.”

The hosts will have former Luton captain Ronnie Henry and defender Fraser Franks, who left Kenilworth Road during summer, in their squad, and Still believes the latter might have a point to prove.

He continued: “We encountered Ronnie last year, Fraser of course, will want to come here and I don’t want to be unfair to him and say he wants to show that he should still be here, because that would be being disrespectful to his club.

“But showing that maybe did he deserve a better chance or a longer chance here.

“I liked Fraser, I thought he was a decent player. The problem we found with Fraser was that as we said at the time, was that if he wasn’t in the team, but came into the team and played with (Luke) Wilkinson and (Steve) McNulty, he did fine.

“But when we played him and Alex Lacey together, that wasn’t quite right, that’s not his fault, it was just the combination.

“So who do we let go? We decided to let them both get regular first team football and they’ve both gone and played more football than perhaps they would be playing.

“So for me I think it was the right thing for this football club and also the right thing for Fraser. It’s good to see him playing, it’s good to see him doing what he always wanted, which is try to cement a place down.

“I know he’s missed some games, but he’s played a lot, so I’ve got nothing but admiration for the fact he wanted to go and try somewhere else rather than hold on to something which he wasn’t sure he would get a benefit from.

“He was part of the group that got us promotion, so it’s always good to see them doing well.”

On-loan defender Sean Long admitted he had been told of the importance of the clash too, as he said: “The lads made me aware, but I’m sure the Luton fans will be full of singing and full of cheering, they’ll drive us on.

“These games are a battle, it’s whoever wins their battle and then imposes their game on the other team.

“We won’t change, we’ll have a look at them, have a look at their strengths, but more on their weaknesses and where we can hurt them.

“We want to carry the momentum that we have now. We want to go to Stevenage and play our normal game, we want to pass the ball about, score goals and hopefully keep a clean sheet.

“Obviously the Luton fans will always be good, as they always are since I’ve come here anyway, so lets get another three points.”