McNulty available for Newport visit

Steve McNulty
Steve McNulty

Captain Steve McNulty is the only addition to Hatters squad for their League Two clash against Newport County this weekend.

The defender missed Tuesday night’s 1-0 FA Cup win over Bury, but although Hatters kept a clean sheet in his absence, McNulty is expected to come straight back into the team.

Speaking to the press today, boss John Still said: “Steve’s in line for selection. We’ll train again tomorrow, and we’ll see where are.

“The back two did very well on Tuesday, but I have to take into account that Steve been fantastic all season.”

Luke Wilkinson has been McNulty’s regular partner this term, but Fraser Franks produced another solid display against the Shakers in midweek to further his claims for a starting berth.

Still continued: “That’s the beauty of the squad isn’t it, that when someone as big a personality as Steve is out of it, someone can come in and you don’t look too much worse if at all because of it.

“In Fraser’s case, he had to have his hernia done, battled back hard and his chance has come to play in probably his favoured position.

“He did very well, so it gives me a few things to think about.”

Midfielder Luke Rooney will also be fit for Saturday too despite suffering badly from cramp in the closing stages against Bury.

Still said: “He’ll be fine, he’s missed a lot of football but I thought he played really, really well.

“It’s good to have him and Shaun (Whalley) who are both people that can make something happen.

“When you’re without (Luke) Guttridge, (Pelly) Ruddock and (Alex) Lawless you miss someone who can make something happen.

“But fortunately they’re both fit, and they both showed they’ve got a little bit of quality that we need.”

On the situation regarding Town’s injured quartet, Still added: “I think we’re looking to the turn of the year, but not too far from the turn of the year.

“Ruddock’s just started training, Lawless probably is a couple of weeks from training, but not too long.

“Benno (Paul Benson) and Gutts are a little bit longer, but we’ve got by so far and it’s someone else’s opportunity.

“Shaun has come to the fore from not being in it, Rooney’s got himself in it, from not being fit and he would have been in and around it.

“Ross Lafayette is getting fitter, I thought he did very well when he came on against Bury, so we’re getting one or two more options and when they do come back, it will make us stronger in terms of selection.”