Still admits that FA Trophy has not been his happiest of hunting grounds

Town chief John Still has admitted he doesn’t have particularly fond memories of the FA Trophy ahead of Luton’s first round trip to Staines Town on Saturday, writes Mark Wood.
Chester v Luton Town. Photos by Liam  Smith. wk 47.Chester v Luton Town. Photos by Liam  Smith. wk 47.
Chester v Luton Town. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 47.

Still has a wealth of experience managing in both the non-league and the Football League, while the Hatters have twice reached the semi-finals during their four previous ventures in the competition.

And while it hasn’t proved a particularly successful hunting ground for Still he is keen for his side to progress.

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He said: “I remember Terry (Harris) scoring in a final at Wembley, I was there, watched that.

“But not great I don’t think. In the old amateur cup, yeah, but I wouldn’t say I’ve got great memories if I’m being honest with you of the FA Trophy myself.

“But I’ve always said the best teams don’t win the cup. I’ve won lots of leagues, but maybe not a cup man, but I don’t know why. I wouldn’t say it’s been fantastic, but who knows.”

Progression in the trophy could have a big impact on Town’s league schedule, but Still was unconcerned by that.

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He said: “I don’t subscribe to that (that it would be a good thing to go out). I think if you go into a game thinking if we don’t win it it doesn’t matter, that’s not for me, it can’t be.

“And I understand if you do OK in certain cups you miss Saturday games and that, but football being football, we could go out, and all the teams that we were going to play later on are all playing in this competition so we miss games anyway.

“I just think we have to give these players the opportunity, but there has to be an expectation attached to it.”

Town are on a great run of form at the moment, despite crashing out of the FA Cup at the first round stage with a 2-1 defeat at Skrill Premier rivals Welling United.

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And Still’s looking for his side to maintain that momentum, adding: “You’ve got to try and win every game, you never go out to lose games.

“We felt the team that we picked in the FA Cup at Welling was capable of winning and it showed it was capable of winning. It didn’t win, but I think it showed it was capable.

“FA Trophy the same. We will make changes, but we feel we’ve got a lot of good young players here. This is a game that will push people on to play in that and see where they are in terms of regular first team players.

“There will be changes, but having said that, it’s opportunities for people to put themselves in the frame to be a regular starter. As far as I’m concerned it’s a game we want to win. “