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20 December 2013

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Boss hoping to avoid complacency ahead of Gateshead test

The press have cottoned on.

They’re beginning to predict his every word.

“It’s pointless us saying ‘it’s a tough game’ because we say it all the time and so do you,” BBC Three Counties Radio’s Luke Ashmead said to John Still at his Thursday press call.

“It is a tough game,” the boss interjected, chuckling.

Indeed Saturday’s game will be difficult. The Hatters’ 14-match unbeaten sequence in the Skrill Premier is in serious danger against Gateshead.

Having won five of their last six on the road, the Tynesiders make the long trip down to Bedfordshire in good heart – and have won more away matches than anybody in the division.

But there was no mention of controlling any controllables from the boss. Just a plain realisation of the size of the task that his in-form side face against another in fine fettle.

"They are in line with the better teams at the moment, their form is good," explained Still. “And for that reason we understand it’s going to be tough.

“But you know all these games when they are particularly tough…they’re just other challenges for people.

“The same way for the team against Staines and Wrexham: playing against individually better players and better organisation.”

Gateshead are flying and playing an exciting brand of football. They’ve recovered superbly from a dismal start to the campaign and are now serious promotion contenders. The form book says so.

That might sound ominous, but it’s something to focus the importance; something to help override any we’re-playing-well-we-can-steamroller-anybody complacency. A test like this is good.

“Sometimes to improve yourself you have to overcome challenges,” continued Still.

“If things stop becoming challenging, most times you stop improving yourself because the challenge has gone out of it.

“You get complacent – and when you get complacent you start getting beat.”

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