Still’s expectations are on the rise after County triumph
Expectancy levels are starting to rise at Kenilworth Road for manager John Still, writes Mike Simmonds
Town’s 1-0 win over Stockport County on Tuesday night saw them move to within 10 points of the play-offs with nine games left.
The boss said: “I actually have an expectation now, I didn’t have one a week ago.
“I feel I can put a side out to play with what we’ve got here and I have an expectation that they should do well.
“So now if people don’t do well, it’s telling me really that they can’t. I don’t have an expectation to win five or six-nil but I have one that the team can go out and I expect to win.
“Whether we do or not, I don’t know, but I’m looking at the players now and not thinking can they or can’t they? It’s a case of, they should, so I’ve made a little bit of progress.”
With fifth-placed Grimsby not in action on Saturday due to their FA Trophy final, Hatters could cut the gap to seven points with victory over Tamworth at Kenilworth Road.
When asked if his side had an outside chance of the play-offs, Still continued: “What I’ve learned over the years is it’s never over until it’s over.
“Never assume anything, never take anything for granted. Any of those teams that might be taking things for granted, don’t, because I think we can win some games.
“If we do, who knows? One thing’s for sure, I will be expecting to win some games now, I really will and I want to see who’s going to stand next to me and try to win them.
“I want to have a go at both the games and, if we can look back after them and say that’s three home games we’ve maximised, you never know.
“One or two in front of us might have a little flutter and we have to be aware, we might be able to exert a little bit of pressure. It’s a long shot, but sometimes long shots win.”
The view was echoed by striker Jon Shaw, who said: “Realistically the pressure is off. There’s teams who might be playing three or four times a week, that’s to our advantage if we can pick points up.
“We’ve got a great squad, so we can rotate, while not everyone has got the squad to do that.
“All it takes is three wins on the spin and three draws or three losses and suddenly you’re looking at going into the last few games with only a two or three point gap.
“It is a big gap and we’ve only got ourselves to blame for being in this position, but let’s see what we can do.”
Meanwhile, defender Steve McNulty added: “We’ve got an outside chance now, if we go and win every game you never know what will happen.
“Until someone comes and tells you it’s not mathematically possible you’ve always got to keep believing. There’s no point in thinking it’s over.
“I had it one year with Fleetwood where results had to go for us on the last game of the season. They went for us and we nipped in the last place.
“There’s a lot of home games, so we’ve got to use that to our advantage.
“As a group of players and as a club, we’ve got to stick together and you never know what will happen.”
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