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4 October 2013

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The league table and the treatment table: it's all good news

They say the league table never lies, but perhaps that’s a phrase best used at the end of a season.

Twelve games into the Skrill Premier campaign and the Hatters lie in sixth place on 20 points. 

Woking, who the Town beat 4-0 last week, are nine points behind the Hatters and are in the relegation zone. Garry Hill’s Cards beat Nuneaton on Saturday. Nuneaton lie second, three points above the Town. 

FC Halifax, meanwhile, lie on the same amount of points as the Hatters. They’ve beaten Grimsby and Wrexham on home soil. But lost at Cambridge, Forest Green and Kidderminster. Go figure.

At Thursday’s press conference the manager summed it up. “I think that teams sometimes can appear to be doing better than you think or worse than you think,” he said. “We’ve only played 12 games. 

“It takes a little bit of time to sort it all out. I think within eight to 10 games you’d probably know where your strengths and weaknesses are.

“Probably most of the teams there would think, ‘we need to be a bit stronger here’, or ‘perhaps need to change this’.

“Halifax, along with us and the teams that are around us, would look at their start and be reasonably comfortable with how they’ve started.

“But it doesn’t always tell a story, it’s a long, long grinding season.”

For the Shaymen’s first visit to Bedfordshire in their new guise (the ‘old’ Halifax never won a game at Kenilworth Road), the Town boss in the comfortable position of having an almost fully-fit squad available.

Alex Wall, Jon Shaw and Alex Lawless have resumed training. Anthony Charles is fully-fit, whilst new arrival David Viana is available after receiving international clearance.

It gives the manager plenty of options – although, as Still confirmed, Portuguese youth international Viana won’t be rushed into first team despite impressing for the development squad.

“If I felt I should use him now I would do,” Still said. “He’s a boy that’s come from abroad. It’s not like he’s an experienced player that’s travelled the world.

“I’d like to see all of his skills first, I’d like to see what he’s got, what he hasn’t got, what he needs to add.

“I’ve seen bits of it but that’s really where I am. I don’t really think I’m looking at him long, long, long-term – if I’m talking long-term with him I’m talking a couple of months as opposed to a year.

“I just need him to settle down. He’s been living in a hotel since he’s been here, but he’s found a place to stay and all of those things can be important.”

Saturday’s game comes too early for centre-forward Shaw. The striker scored for the development squad on Tuesday in a 30-minute cameo in his return from a hernia operation.  “He’s not far behind,” said Still. “He’s not ready yet…he needs another week or two.”

But midfielder Lawless could return.

“He might play Saturday, we will have to see how he is after training on Friday,” continued the manager. “It wasn’t a bad injury, just a knock.

“Sometimes when you’ve been out for a little while and when you come back you get your little referred injuries where you’re over-compensating a little bit on things. Alex Lawless getting fit is good.”

Meanwhile, young right-back Brett Longden has joined Skrill South Boreham Wood on a month's loan. Striker Jake Woolley has returned to Kenilworth Road following a spell with the Wood this season.

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel yet? You can get to see snippets of the manager's press conference and the odd goal (and celebration) here and there. Check it out:

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