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19 March 2013

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Boss continues to plan...

The assessment continues.

In the five matches of his tenure so far boss John Still has seen 20 players in Town colours.

Tonight, as the Hatters host Stockport, that number is likely to rise to 21 with striker Jon Shaw in line for his first start since the 1-1 draw at Macclesfield.

Patience and planning are key to Still’s thinking at the moment as he sifts through a side way off of the Play-Off picture, but not without the squeakiest of squeaks of making it.

The promotion odds are stacked against the Hatters and, whilst they won’t give up until it’s mathematically impossible – the cogs are already turning in the manager’s head as he masterminds a future promotion challenge team should they fall short this season.

“I’ve got to keep on assessing and sometimes results might not be what we all want, but as I said before, the job is to build this club into a team and build this team into a team that can get out of this league,” Still told the media at his press call inside his office at the training ground on Monday afternoon.

 “You want to win as many games as you can, but the side’s going to change again.

“People have to be patient. We had an outside chance of making the Play-Offs, absolutely, and I’ve always bore that in mind. 

“I assess everybody and assess combinations. That is going to be much harder for me come the end of the season.

“When the end of the season comes I really want to be in no doubt of who can and who can’t [help the team]. We will lose a little bit of continuity – but that’s just how it’s going to be.

“It does matter how well they play. If we’d have won five games, it could be a different complexion.

“I could be saying, ‘hold on a minute, we’re right in it’, but it’s not like I’ve made wholesale changes. It’s just a tinker. 

“It’s a dual-edged sword because in the tinkering I’ve been quite pleased defensively, particularly away from home where I think we’ve defended very, very well.

“Our creativity has been something that I haven’t seen enough of and I think the players that have played possibly should have had a touch more creativity and should have scored a few more goals, but we haven’t.

“I will tinker around that sort of area a little bit just looking for what people can produce.”

Stockport arrive at Kenilworth Road needing the points in their quest to beat the drop.

The Town beat County in Still’s first game in charge and while conscious of the threat the visitors might pose, the manager is keen to emphasise the importance of his team’s capabilities.

“Having played them a little while ago I know they’ve brought in some loan players very quickly,” said Still. “We have to do our work, we have to make sure we’re fully aware.

“We will have a match report from Saturday that we can refer to. But we’ll be fully up to date with Stockport.

“We have a little bit of knowledge having played them a few week ago but I think always concentrate on yourself. Make yourself right, be aware of what they’re going to be capable of.

“I look at the other team - I always look at what the other team does - but I’m a big believer in what my own team does, and at the moment I don’t know exactly what my own team does! 

“And that’s what makes it’s so interesting.”

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