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19 September 2014

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Boss on opening to the season and strikers...

After eight games last season the Hatters had scored just five goals and collected 10 points.

At the time, after a 2-0 Friday night defeat at Wrexham, the bookies pushed the Hatters out to 10/1 to win the title as the Town trailed Cambridge United by 10 points.

Fast forward 12 months and the Town travel to Cambridge for a Football League fixture with a record not too dissimilar to a year ago. Five goals scored, nine points won.

However, the encouraging performances of his side in recent weeks – as they continue to adjust to life back in the League – against Plymouth, Cheltenham and York have quite rightly given John Still cause for optimism.

As the boss often admits with regularity, he’s “been about a bit”, and therefore, knows a thing or two about football. Patience if often key.

“Let’s just look at what we’re doing as a team at the moment,” Still said at his Thursday press conference.

“If we get to a situation where we go, ‘we need to adjust this now because we’ve given this every chance’, then we’d look to adjust it. But, at the moment, I’m ok with things.”

At the same stage last term Andre Gray had yet to score in eight appearances, five of which were starts. The striker, who departed for Brentford in the summer, went onto score 30 times, whilst the rest of the squad weighed in with another 72 as the title was won in style.

And while defences this season will be a tougher nut to crack than those in the Conference, Still isn’t pressing the panic button when it comes to scoring goals – yet.

“If I had a kneejerk effect last year, Andre Gray might never have got in the team and might never have scored the goals he did,” said the manager.

“When you talk about replacing 30 goals at the level, you’re not going to do it, unless you go and spend the money that you just got for it.

“That’s why Brentford paid the amount of money they did to get the goals. You can go lower down as we have done and try and find goalscorers and give them the chance to come on.

“You can look around at the slightly higher level at someone who might not be getting the best opportunity, which we did and made enquiries into that sort of player.

“But they weren’t available or ridiculous money. We always knew that we had to try and replace those goals, but it’s how you replace them.

“I we think we can share them around. We haven’t done yet, but we never scored loads at the beginning of last season either.

“We also we need to look at what we’ve got in house and see if we can provide the goals from the players we’ve got.

“Ricky Miller’s made a good impact at Dover, we’re very pleased with him there. Charlie Walker is now just getting into the full-time mode in training every day which he didn’t find very easy.

“It’s the sharpest I’ve seen Mark Cullen, so if we can get people into the goalscoring positions, which we weren’t early on, I think we have players who can score goals.

“Will we replace someone with 30 goals? I don’t know, but we might find some 15s or 18s and they all tally up the same.”


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