Hatters capable of winning non-league double says first team coach
Hakan Hayrettin believes the Town’s strength in depth can help them challenge for both the Skrill Premier and the FA Trophy.
Goals from Andy Parry and Shaun Whalley were enough to beat Staines in Tuesday night’s first round replay to book a second round date with Trophy holders Wrexham a week on Saturday.
And first team coach Hayrettin, who was part of the Wycombe Wanderers side that won the Conference and Trophy double in 1993 under Martin O’Neill, thinks the Hatters can do the same this season.
“Is it possible for this football club to win the league and the FA Trophy? Yes it is because we have a squad the manager believes is capable,” said Hayrettin after Tuesday’s 2-0 victory.
“I was involved in this situation at Wycombe. It was a large and young squad and the philosophy is the same as it is here.
“John came into the dressing before the game and said that he’s not looking to change the team for the next round should we get through and that was a great incentive for them so these players have a great opportunity against Wrexham now.
“The manager believes in the squad. He installs that desire into players. When he talks they listen. When he gives them an opportunity they take it.”
Having drawn at Staines on Saturday a similarly youthful side were on duty at Kenilworth Road and their display heartened Hayrettin.
“This performance has given the manager a few headaches for Saturday,” said the coach. “It was a mature performance, more professional in the second half.
“Tinahse [Chabata] and Charlie [Smith] were given starts at Zane [Banton] and Ian [Rees] came on and all of them acquitted themselves really well.
“All of the players in the squad, and a number of those youth team players, are capable of playing in the first team – and that’s the way we approach any game.
“We played in our usual way and got the result we deserved. The players were mentally prepared and yes, it was a mature performance but it was only because we did things right.”