Dropping Justin and Mullins was toughest call yet for Luton chief

Dan Potts is mobbed after making it 2-1 to Luton on Tuesday night
Dan Potts is mobbed after making it 2-1 to Luton on Tuesday night

Hatters boss Nathan Jones declared it the ‘most difficult’ decision of his managerial career to leave out James Justin and Johnny Mullins against Exeter City last night.

The duo had been part of Town’s magnificent 7-1 victory over Stevenage at the weekend, replacing Alan Sheehan, who was at the birth of his first child, and the suspended Dan Potts.

However, with both available for the clash at St James Park, Jones opted to recall the pair immediately, with Potts scoring the second goal from Sheehan’s corner on the way to Town’s impressive 4-1 triumph.

When asked if it was a tough call to alter a winning side, Jones said: “Massively. I’ve had to leave out Johnny Mullins and James Justin and that was my most difficult decision as manager.

“I said that to the players, but I knew that they had a certain element of physicality about them, Dan Potts is as good a header as we’ve got, Alan Sheehan gives us balance.

“Look they were incredibly unlucky to miss out, they really were, but we’ve won the game, so hopefully it’s justifiable.

Look they were incredibly unlucky to miss out, they really were, but we’ve won the game, so hopefully it’s justifiable.

Nathan Jones

“It doesn’t help them, but they took it well and we have a great group that works hard and pushes each other, because we all want to achieve the same thing.”

Speaking about his recall to the side after missing Saturday due to picking up five bookings, Potts said: “The gaffer pulled me and we spoke, but it must have been a tough decision.

“If anyone gets left out after winning 7-1, they’ve got the right to be disappointed.

“I was disappointed I got booked and missed the game, but he picked me and personally I’ve just got to do what I know I can do and hopefully make the manager’s decision correct.

“Thankfully we’ve come away with a win and a goal.”

With the victory putting Luton at the top of the table, Potts knows too that if they are to stay there, then hard decisions are going to be commonplace for his manager.

He added: “The squad we’ve got, he’s going to have headaches every week.

“Just look at the players on the bench, you’d like to think all of them could be starters for any other team in the league.

“It’s a good squad and I’m sure the manager wants those decisions, he won’t shy away from them, that’s part and parcel of it.

“If you want to be champions you’ve got to have a good squad, there’s going to be injuries, going to be suspensions like me, but the 11 that he does pick, even the lads that came in, they were different class on Saturday.

“There’s competition everywhere, so if anyone drops out, there’s someone who’s going to come in and do just as good.

“Hopefully it doesn’t get too stretched and everyone stays fit and healthy but there’s going to be decision to be made definitely.

“As long as that keeps happening, whoever’s on the pitch, if we keep winning, it’s good all round.”