Lee to miss Northampton but Smith and Doyle in contention

Elliot Lee
Elliot Lee
  • Elliot Lee to miss Saturday’s trip to Northampton
  • Mark Tyler, Scott Griffiths and Fraser Franks also out
  • Nathan Doyle and Jonathan Smith both in contention

Striker Elliot Lee will miss Luton Town’s trip to Northampton Town this weekend due to his hip injury.

The forward had starred during Hatters’ 3-2 defeat against Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday night, before being on the receiving end of a horrible challenge from Sam Saunders late on.

“I thought it was a sending off. Sam’s my mate, Sam’s one of my players, but business is business and I thought Sam was lucky to stay on.”

John Still

Town boss John Still felt Saunders, who he signed when manager at Dagenham & Redbridge, was lucky to stay on the field too, as he said: “He’s injured, it’s the story of our life really and won’t be available on Saturday.

“I thought it was a sending off. Sam’s my mate, Sam’s one of my players, but business is business and I thought Sam was lucky to stay on.

“I told him that and he knew he was lucky to stay on because you run after someone and do a slide tackle, okay, but it was a kick and if you kick someone, it’s a sending off.”

The news is a real blow for Still as Lee’s partnership with Paul Benson was the main plus point from midweek as the boss continued: “Paul’s been a miss, as we know, because he makes other people play. That’s a big thing with Benno, he did it when Andre (Gray), he makes other people play.

“Elliot and him looked the right combination but Elliot won’t be available on Saturday.”

Keeper Elliot Justham will continue to deputise for Mark Tyler, while Fraser Franks is another absentee after coming off against the Chairboys.

Still said: “(On Tyler) Not yet, nearly but not right. I have to say that one of the pluses has been Elliot Justham though.

“He’ll (Franks) be out for about a month too because of his ankle.

“He did it quite early in the game and then did it a bit worse as the game wore on, so really couldn’t come out for the second half.”

Full back Scott Griffiths is another who isn’t likely to feature due to his impending hernia surgery, with Still saying: “He does need an operation which I think is in April.

“If we needed to we probably could get away with some injections, but perhaps not right at the moment.”

There was good news regarding midfield duo Nathan Doyle and Jonathan Smith who have been missed Luton’s alarming fall away from the automatic promotion places.

On Doyle, Still said: “He’s trained perfectly all week, so we’ll have a look and see how he does in a session tomorrow and decide from that.

“We’d like him to have a development game but we’ll see, because next week is technically a free week.

“I know we play Friday but there’s no Tuesday game, so if he was to play, he’s got a fair bit of recovery time in between.”

With Smith, Still continued: “It was a bit of tendinitis really. He’s come back (from a broken leg) and as you get sometimes with injuries like that, it’s something that can happen.

“He’s really needed to rest that a bit, but maybe Saturday. We’ll keep our fingers crossed with that because that’s close.”

Alex Lawless is also in contention after being left on the bench during Tuesday night’s clash, with Still adding: “We gave Alex a rest, he needed a rest, but only a rest.

“He’s been out a long time, so we put him on the bench in case we needed him.

“We thought he looked a little bit tired in training and just gave him a rest because he’ll be available for Saturday and Friday and because he’s had a rest, he may be okay again on the Monday.”