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15 November 2013

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The boss on Chester - and Cambridge

After five away matches on the spin and a sixth to follow you expected nothing less. 

“Another tough game!” John Still blurted out at his press conference on Thursday afternoon. It’s becoming the manager’s standard response but every time he’s been spot on.

“Name one that’s easy,” he put to the press corps sat around his desk at the training ground. “I’m trying to think of that is.”

The Town travel to Chester on Saturday aiming to extend their unbeaten league run in the Skrill Premier to 11 matches. 

Having come through gusts at Gateshead and the mud and bobbles at Braintree, Still will get the Hatters ready to face whatever lies in wait at Chester.

“Conditions sometimes dictate what kind of game it’ll be, but I don’t really know,” said Still. “Whatever it is, we’ll be ready for. I’ll take a look at conditions, I’ll take a look at my team and I’ll see who’s fit and healthy and who’s ready for that particular challenge.”

Without blowing his own trumpet, the omission of Luke Guttridge from the starting line-up on Tuesday night was a sign of Still taking the conditions at Braintree into consideration.

“We knew it wouldn’t be the type of game, or pitch, which would suit Luke’s game,” explained the manager. “We knew it would be a battle and sometimes you have to change the tactics to suit the conditions.”

Victory in the Town’s record-equalling sixth successive away game would close the gap on leaders Cambridge to four points – for a few hours at least.

The table-topping U’s travel to Barnet in a live fixture broadcast by BT Sport at 5.30pm.

But while the Town could meet Richard Money’s side in the Skrill Premier in a month’s time – FA Trophy scheduling permitting – Still is remaining focused on his team and nobody else.

“One of the things I’ve learned in football is never to look too far in front – things can change,” said the boss. “I’ve never believed in six pointers and I’ve never believed that one certain game can decide everything because things can change so quickly.

“I remember the season before last when Manchester United went 10 points clear of Manchester City and the presenter said ‘that’s it, Man Utd have won the league’. Oh dear.

“As my old dad said: ‘the only time it’s over is when you need seven off the last ball’. I think that’s true. I never look too far at other teams’ results. They’ll come a time when we know what we have to do but until then all we need to do is to keep going ourselves and doing what we’re doing.

“I don’t look at other clubs until we play them. In three games a season can change. You can be 10 points or 12 points clear and then lose three on the trot. It happens, and all of a sudden things change. 
“Let’s worry about Cambridge if and when that day comes.”

Want to hear more from John Still? 20 minutes of chat is currently available to Hatters Player subscribers. And why not check out our official YouTube channel, too?

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