Boss happy with what he's seen so far...
After last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Accrington, and Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Bristol City, Hatters manager John Still has now run the rule over 19 players in his squad.
Those on duty during the midweek cup triumph over Championship opposition have certainly staked their claims to remain in contention for a place in the starting XIon Saturday.
Both games have given a content boss food for thought in the lead up to this weekend’s first home league game of the campaign.
“Most players, if you include pre-season as well, have taken part,” Still said at his Thursday press conference. “Some are a touch behind others still, but I’ve tried to do what I can for everyone to show their fitness levels, their organisation, their discipline and their quality.
“And I’ve been really, really pleased. The two games have told me where 99 per cent of the squad are and I think we’re in decent shape.”
Talking of shape, the Town’s formation changed during the week. And Tuesday’s success certainly gives the boss another little selection poser.
“What we’ve tried to do in pre-season is look at 433, 442 and 352,” said Still. “We watched Bristol’s game with Sheffield Wednesday and we felt we would be better suited if we matched them up [formation wise, going 352].
“We felt if we could remain solid and disciplined we could catch them on the break and we did that. It worked perfectly and the boys did really well.
“By and large our organisation, discipline and fitness are first class at the minute and the more games we play the better we’ll get technically.”
Opponents Oxford head into the weekend bouncing after a 4-0 win at Brentford in the cup, enhancing their credentials as a team to watch this season.
“They’ve got some decent players,” said Still. “But listen, like all leagues, it’ll be a tough game.
“The mighty Hammers [West Ham] went to Arsenal and nobody gave them a chance – except me – and who would have picked that?
“Games at all levels are tough and in this league a lot of teams have strengthened their squad and made themselves stronger.
“There won’t be many gimmies this season. Game have to be won – nobody’s going to give it to you.”
You can watch the manager’s press conference in HD on Hatters Player by clicking here.
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