Justin has a big part to play for Luton during ‘business end’

Luton defender James Justin
Luton defender James Justin

Hatters boss Nathan Jones has reiterated his claims that young defender James Justin has a big part to play in Luton’s end to the League Two campaign.

The 18-year-old full back has had to make do with a place on the bench since the 1-1 draw with Grimsby, with Stephen O’Donnell preferred in his position for the last three league games.

Luton right back Stephen O'Donnell

Luton right back Stephen O'Donnell

Although Justin has been superb in his breakthrough season this far, playing 24 times after being involved with the club’s U18s last term, Jones felt it was the right move to pull the teenager out.

However, with Hatters entertaining Plymouth, Oxford and then travelling to Yeovil in the next week, the Luton chief expected the defender to feature heavily once more, saying: “What we have is he’s a young player and if I’m honest I didn’t envisage Jack Senior playing this amount of games as they do have dips, but James wasn’t dipping, it was just the right time.

“We’ve got good competition here, it was the right time just to take him out of the firing line a little bit, let him regroup.

“The trouble is, we’ve not been beaten since and won almost every game since. So what I wanted to do was keep a little bit of continuity.

We’ve got three games in a week, and I am pretty much sure that James will play a part in these games from the start.

Nathan Jones

“We’re at the real business end, but James will play lots of games.

“He’s a wonderful, wonderful talent and I’ve spoke to him today about the situation, he’s fine with it.

“It’s a difficult situation for him I know, but the competition we have, he will play.

“We’ve got three games in a week, and I am pretty much sure that James will play a part in these games from the start.”

Meanwhile, Jones confirmed he expects to have more options defensively for the home clash against Plymouth Argyle on Saturday, adding: “Dan Potts is back, Johnny Mullins last week had a little bit of a stiffness that we didn’t want to risk because of the strength we have.

“We were able to rest Scotty Cuthbert the week before and bring Johnny in, so they’re in a good place.

“I’ve got too many (players) now, that’s the thing, a wealth of riches and it’s a wonderful position to be in.

“They’re all in a good place, all hungry, all want to do well. It’s just about picking the right team for me.”