UPDATED: Still expects Rendell to be doubly motivated in Woking clash
Hatters chief John Still expects Woking striker Scott Rendell to be doubly motivated when he returns to Kenilworth Road on Monday night, writes Mark Wood.
Having struggled to make an impact at the end of last season when Still took over, the striker was made surplus to requirements in the summer.
Last season’s FA Cup hero at Premier League Norwich City made his mark while on loan at Woking earlier this season and made the move permanent during the January transfer window.
And Still expects Rendell to put in a fully committed showing for his new club in a bid to prove him wrong.
On whether he might want to prove a point, Still said: “Absolutely. To be fair, we got on great with Scott, I got on well with Scott, Scott was a great lad.
“And I felt for him a little bit, he had problems at the end of last season and probably hadn’t produced his best form and I understand that.
“As a manager you have to make a decision, I don’t know how that’s going to work out.
“I felt there was a chance of getting Paul Benson and I felt that’s what I should try and do, which meant that Scott wasn’t perhaps going to get the best opportunity here that his ability deserves.
“And he found something at Woking and of course he might have been disappointed to leave Luton.
“But listen, it’s football, and we all understand that and I’m sure when he comes back here he’ll want to show what he can do.
“Absolutely, 100 per cent, I wouldn’t expect him to do anything else.
“I would be disappointed if he wanted to do anything else because he’s a professional that has to do the right things for Scott Rendell.
“I would be disappointed if he wasn’t like that, but I’m fully aware he can come back here and be a real, real handful and we’ve got to be ready to deal with that.”
Rendell, 27, has scored 12 times in 24 games since joining the Cards, but there was never any question of Luton trying to rule him out playing after permanently leaving the club.
Still continued: “Once he was actually going to another club you can’t actually do that.
“You can do it if you loan, but you can’t actually say to another club you have to have that written down.
“They could write it and throw it in the bin, I think you can’t actually do that and I think if you’re taking a player permanently it’s very difficult to do that and I’m not sure it’s right.”
Both Rendell and Jack Marriott have been in great form up front for the Cards and Still will pay them every respect like he has each team Luton have faced this season.
“We’ve played 35 league games, against lots of good players and lots of good teams,” he said.
“And as far as I’m concerned we’ve just got to go and keep on doing what we’re doing. We haven’t got to change anything, and sometimes it’s easy for players not to do well for a game or two and to change them, and that’s not always the right way.
“Because we’re not always at our best, but the team can sometimes be well oiled in terms of everyone knows their job.
“New players come in and don’t get it quite straight away, so I think you have to be careful.
“And as far as I’m concerned from the first game of the season that we lost away to Southport, I can’t think of a game that’s been easy since then when the game has started.
“When it’s over, and we’ve won quite well you might look back and go we’ve done all right there.
“But when I’ve looked at the game before I can’t look at one and gone this will be easy.
“Not ever Hyde who have already got relegated. It was 4-1, but it was 1-1 at half time.
“Honestly the games are tough, very, very tough when you want to come first.”
And Still believes Town may have to be patient against mid-table Woking, just like they recently were against play-off-chasing Alfreton.
Still added: “I think that whoever comes here now and plays us will be right up for it because we’ve been good at home, we’ve been scoring at home.
“We’ve been scoring away, but we’ve been scoring goals and I think teams come here really tight, really make it difficult for us and we might have to, like we did against Alfreton, show a bit of patience.
“I do expect tough without a doubt.”