Jones changed defence around to 'make a statement' at Glovers

Stephen O'Donnell returned to the Luton side against Yeovil
Stephen O'Donnell returned to the Luton side against Yeovil

Hatters boss Nathan Jones explained his decision to change three quarters of his defence from Wednesday night’s Checkatrade Trophy defeat to Oxford United for the 4-0 win at Yeovil Town yesterday.

Only Alan Sheehan remained in the back four, with the Irishman moving to left back as Jack Senior was rested, while Stephen O’Donnell returned for James Justin, meaning Scott Cuthbert and Glen Rea formed a newlook centre half partnership.

Speaking afterwards, Jones said: “I wanted to go really strong today in terms of size, in terms of everything as I wanted to cover every eventuality.

“They’re a side who can score from set-plays. I couldn’t second guess who they would play, whether it was (Tom) Eaves or (Omar) Sowunmi, as we had problems with that when they played in the Checkatrade game.

“But I was very, very pleased today and I went with strong, strong, men, a good bit of experience in the side.

“We’ve got two wonderful young full backs but today I just wanted to make a bit of statement and we did that, and showed that. It was a first clean sheet in a while and I’m pleased with that.”

Teenage defender Senior missed out after starting the last 10 games in all competitions since making his what was his full league debut at Wycombe recently.

That mean fit again left back Dan Potts came on for his first minutes since New Year’s Eve during the second half, as Jones continued: “I spoke to Jack in midweek as midweek was probably one game too far for Jack.

“These young players, they need nurturing, need looking after as they’re not machines yet.

“They can’t just roll out, roll out, roll out performances, 90 minutes after 90 minutes because their bodies are not used to it.

“But because Potts wasn’t quite ready, we just had to play him an extra game (against Oxford) and he’s just looked a bit jaded lately.

“So we’ve pulled him out, a little rest up for him and then he can come back.

“It was great to see Pottsy back. He came on and we were able to shift things about to combat anything and preempt anything they did and that was pleasing.”

Meanwhile on Luke Gambin’s absence from the match day squad, Jones confirmed it was a tight hamstring, adding: “Yes, it was precaution and it enables us to do that with the strength of squad we have.

“He’s trained fully, Thursday he had an extra session and Friday he was just feeling it.

“We pulled him out as there’s no point risking him, putting him on the bench.

“The bench we had anyway was strong, we’ve got people like Lawson D’Ath in there, so we didn’t need to risk him in any way shape or form.”