Luton Town: John Still persuaded by chance to progress

John Still has said the potential to take Luton Town beyond League Two influenced his choice to leave Dagenham & Redbridge for the non-league.

The 62-year-old, appointed the new Hatters boss on Tuesday, turned down previous offers from other teams.

"I could have left Dagenham on four occasions and gone to a Championship club," he told BBC East Sport.

"I don't want to go to a club whose ambition is to stay where they are. The right club has come at the right time."

Still the boss

  • Maidstone United 1986 to 1989: Won promotion to the Football League
  • Redbridge Forest (later Dagenham & Redbridge) 1989-1994: Won promotion to the Conference
  • Peterborough United 1994 to 1995
  • Barnet 1997 to 2000 and 2001 to 2002: Got to the old Division Three play-offs twice, but failed to win them both times. Returned in 2001, but suffered relegation out of the Football League.
  • Dagenham & Redbridge 2004 to 2013: Won promotion to League Two in 2007 and then League One in 2010. Relegated back to League Two in 2011

Still won two promotions during his nine years at the Daggers - from the Blue Square Bet Premier in 2007 and then League Two in 2010.

Luton are a former top-flight side and were a founder member of the Premier League, but were relegated the season before the competition started in 1992-93.

Financial problems and points deductions saw them drop into the Blue Square Bet Premier four years ago and the frustration of supporters at Kenilworth Road has continued to grow with each campaign they remain a non-league side.

Still, who sat in the stands as his new side lost 2-0 at Braintree on Tuesday night to drop to 10th in the league, will be the fifth manager in four years to try and return Luton to the Football League.

"The long-term goal is to get this club into the Football League," said Still, after signing a two-and-a-half-year deal, with the option of an extension.

"But I was in the Football League already. My ambition is to find a club that can keep going.

"It isn't the job, it's the ride that's important. I'm looking to take the club as high as it's possible to achieve.

"I want people that are ambitious. I want people who want to come in and not become good players, but become great players. People who want to come in and stand still won't work for me.

"I look for hungry players that want to make futures and careers for themselves and not just be a footballer."

Luton's last three bosses - Richard Money, Gary Brabin and Paul Buckle - were all subjected to the anger of disillusioned supporters, but Still, who has previously managed Barnet and Peterborough, has called for unity and patience.

"If John Still wants this club to succeed, the players and board want it to succeed and if the fans want it to succeed, through thick and thin, we will get promotion, no doubt about it.

"You've got to stay with it. Short term hasn't worked. It's a project. Will we go up this year? I don't know. Will we go up next year? I don't know.

"Will we go up in my time here if I get the time? Yes, we'll go up. We might be 18 months up the road and it's not quite right. But it will get right if everyone supports it 100%."