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17 October 2013

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Development stars to earn their chance

Town boss John Still has another strong squad to pick from for Saturday’s trip to Tamworth in the Skrill Premier.

The Hatters go into the game unbeaten in seven matches with almost a fully-fit squad to choose from, with only defender Danny Fitzsimons remains definitely unavailable through injury.

Competition for places is fierce right now after yet another victory for the development squad during the week: the 2-1 win over Northampton was a sixth win in six matches.

The performances of the players in those games have already caught the eye of the manager, and those who have impressed have been rewarded with places in the first team squad.

“It’s tough for people not playing but I’m pleased it’s tough because I don’t want selection easy,” Still said at his Thursday press conference.

“The most pleasing thing for me is how hard the people behind the first team are working. Players need to warrant a place in the squad and I’ve been giving some of them the opportunity.

“Jim Stevenson, Matt Robinson and JJ O’Donnell have done well in development games and I’ve found a way of including them in the first team, to make them feel a part of it. That’s important. It’s not just a case of filling the bench.”

The manager has enjoyed this week, too. The squad went 10-pin bowling on Saturday (“I don’t know who won but it was an enjoyable day and good for team spirit,” said Still), before he watched the development squad triumph Tuesday.

And, after a “sharp” session on Thursday, Still’s been “pleased” with his squads’ week’s work despite a couple of minor injuries picked up in last Saturday’s 4-1 win over Hyde.

“We’ve got a few little knocks but it’s nothing that is going to affect what we picked last Saturday,” said the manager.

More reaction and video to follow.

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