Competition for Hatters’ goalkeeper jersey is vital to Jones

Hatters keeper Elliot Justham
Hatters keeper Elliot Justham

Competition is key for Hatters boss Nathan Jones when it comes to choosing his goalkeeper for tomorrow’s home clash against Hartlepool.

The Luton chief has picked Elliot Justham for the last five games after Mark Tyler went off injured just eight minutes into his first match in charge against Cambridge last month.

“We’re pleased to have two keepers competing, pleased to have at least two players in every position competing, and that’s what the squad is.”

Nathan Jones

Tyler has since returned to the bench, as although Justham was beaten four times during the defeat to AFC Wimbledon at the weekend, when asked if the former East Thurrock stopper would get a chance to cement the number one jersey as his own, Jones said: “We have competition in every position and that’s what we want to create.

“Mark Tyler has been a fantastic servant for the clubs he’s played at, he’s a fantastic goalkeeper. He unfortunately got injured after eight minutes of my first game, Elliot’s come in and kept three clean sheets in six games.

“He was part and parcel of not the most productive team performance last week but up until then, he’s done very, very well and kept three clean sheets.

“We’re pleased to have two keepers competing, pleased to have at least two players in every position competing, and that’s what the squad is.

“So it’s not about opportunities for anyone or so on as we’ve got competition here and Tyles has been excellent, he’s pushed Elliot and Elliot’s pushed Tyles, and that’s the kind of competition we want.”

After the disappointing defeat last weekend, in which Jones condemned the defending from his side as ‘poor’, he wasn’t anticipating rash changes against the struggling Pools.

The boss continued: “We don’t do kneejerk reactions as you’re going to have setbacks.

“We’re disappointed with the result, but we don’t then say, ‘we need to go and do this and do this,’ we don’t.”

With the loan window remaining open, Jones wasn’t looking for any reinforcements just yet adding: “Not at the minute. We’re looking to streamline the squad, it’s a big squad and we’re not looking to bring anyone in before the weekend, so it’s as we are from that point.”