Still relishing his home Hatters debut as Hereford come to town

Charismatic new Hatters boss John Still can’t wait to make his home bow when Hereford United visit Kenilworth Road on Saturday, writes Mark Wood.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 6th March 2013, 6:24 pm

Town are still unbeaten and yet to conceded a goal during his brief tenure after winning 1-0 at Stockport County on Saturday and drawing 0-0 at Nuneaton Town on Tuesday night.

Still, who played at Kenilworth Road during his playing career, said: “I’m very much looking forward to Saturday, seriously I’m quite excited.

“Even if I was going to get a bad one I would still look forward to it, I’ll tell you why, because I love football. I love playing at home, I love playing away and I look forward to the games. So I’m looking forward to Saturday very much so.”

Having been in the job for less than two weeks the former Dagenham & Redbridge boss is still sounding out the players he has at his disposal, but hinted there could well be changes after a disappointing performance at Boro.

“When you give somebody something new to do, you’ve got to give them an opportunity to grow into it,” said Still.

“While I do want to see as many of the players as we can I think I was very positive.

“When (Arnaud) Mendy came off we didn’t go for a defending player, we brought an attacking player in in JJ (O’Donnell).

“We changed the two forwards. I’ll have a think about it tomorrow and then we’ll have a look Thursday and Friday in training.

“We might just shuffle the pack a little bit and see what other people have got.

“I think it’s important to let people settle in and try to find a little bit more than perhaps they showed today.”

On what he thought of the game, Still continued: “Scrappy. Not very much quality. A lot of hard work, didn’t concede, but never really looked like scoring, until maybe just at the death. Plus was not conceding. Minus was not enough creativity.

“I don’t think that the front two in the first half made enough of the balls forward, I felt the balls came back too quick. “I’m not saying the service was great, but I thought they could have made a bit more of it to be honest.

“I would have expected a little bit more from those two in the first half. They worked hard, but I thought they could have done a little bit better in getting to the ball and enabling us to get higher up the pitch from defence. As I said, it’s early days.”

On why the performance hadn’t been as good as Saturday’s, Still continued: “Players not playing well enough on the day, the manager not getting some of his ideas over well enough, as simple as that really.

“But it’s so early. Highs and lows at the moment and it will be like that for a little while.

“Sometimes you’re just as happy seeing the negatives as the positives because that’s what the game’s about. I need to find out the strengths and weaknesses of players and I’m finding it out.”

But Still had been happy with a second consecutive clean sheet, saying: “It’s vital. Going away from home, all games are difficult and if you don’t concede you normally turn round and say I’m not disappointed with the result.

“And I’m not disappointed with the result, but I’m not particularly happy with the performance.

“So I’m not over-disappointed with it but I’m not particularly happy with it.

“I asked the players themselves are you happy with the performance and they said no, so that answers it for me.”

And on how he would be looking for the Hatters to improve, he added: “Back on the training ground, work hard, concentrate. It’s an attitude, it isn’t even an ability. It’s an attitude you take into a game and it’s really important you get that over to players.

“You go in with this attitude and they’ve never experienced that before with the greatest of respect they haven’t.

“But they’ll have to experience it with me because it’s vital for what we are trying to build.

“When people are a little bit excited after Saturday - never too high, never too low that’s me.

“We’ve just got to keep working and it’s important that we all understand we’ve got to keep working. It’s important that I understand it, it’s important the players understand it, the staff understand it.

“As soon as you think you’ve got there, you take a step back and maybe people thought the old magic wand came out Saturday and everything’s rosy, but I know it isn’t because I’ve never found that magic wand.”