Just as he was before last Saturday’s fine victory at Kidderminster, manager John Still is happy with the way his team are improving with each passing week in the Skrill Premier.
And while he acknowledges that the win at Aggborough has been the highlight of this fledgling season so far, the Town boss – as ever – isn’t getting too carried away.
“I’ve seen teams start like a house on fire and fizzle out – and I’ve seen teams start seasons slowly and go onto win championships – that’s football,” he said at his press conference on Thursday afternoon.
There’s no let-up in the Hatters’ schedule. After matches with promotion favourites Forest Green, Cambridge and Kidderminster, it’s Play-Off semi-finalists Grimsby on Saturday and Play-Off finalists Wrexham next week.
So far so good for the Town, but Still knows there’s more to come.
“We played well at Kidderminster and I thought in that the last three games we’ve acquitted ourselves really well,” he said.
“I think we’ve been solid all season defensively. I thought we posed more of a threat going forward at Kidderminster – but I don’t think we’re at a level where I believe we can be.
“And, as I said after the Kidderminster game, I felt that a couple of weeks ago, after Salisbury and Macclesfield, that we weren’t the worst team. Now, in the same respect, I don’t think we’re the best team.
“I don’t think we were the best team then, and I don’t think we’re the worst team now.
“I think that we’re just getting ourselves going into the season and results and performances are reasonable and that’s where I think we are at the moment.
“I think that the performances heave steadily improved.”
The win at Aggborough last week was earned thanks to two Jake Howells penalties. The Town may have conceded just twice in six games so far but Still’s side have only scored five – and not one has been by a striker.
It’s an aspect of the Hatters’ game that has been worked on, extensively so – but the manager admitted he has his excuses.
“We’ve done a lot of work, if I’m honest, in that area. But for various reasons it hasn’t quite been as we would like it,” he said.
“And without trying to make this sound like an excuse, it is an excuse if that makes sense.
“Jon Shaw’s not been quite 100 per cent fit and that’s been a blow. Alex Wall hasn’t been able to be included, and it has been a bit of a blow that we haven’t really had a focal point to play off properly.
“I do like to have what I would call a focal point to play with and we haven’t really had that at its best.
“That’s not to say that if we had of had we would have played any better, though, but I think it would have helped our ball retention a little bit better in the final third, which may have helped.
“I think with Paul Benson coming in and with Alex Wall getting fitter it’s something that hopefully will we keep improving.”
Wall came through 75 minutes of a development side game on Tuesday against Stevenage and could be involved in the squad as he was at Kidderminster last weekend.
Still, though, will not be able to call upon midfielder Alex Lawless – “he’ll resume full training next week, we’re not rushing him” – or defenders Anthony Charles and Danny Fitzsimons.
However, Solomon Taiwo is available for selection again having recovered fully from a hamstring injury.