Town will make changes but avoid a fine against Spurs U23s

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Hatters boss Nathan Jones has promised that the club won’t get fined for their team selection in the Checkatrade Trophy clash against Tottenham Hotspur U23s this evening.

This time last year, Luton were handed a £15k penalty for the sides they played against Gillingham, West Brom U23s and Millwall in their group stage matches.

However, the rules have changed this season, meaning just four of Town’s outfield starting XI, have to have either started the the previous of following first team game, are in the top 10 players for starting appearances, or have made 40 or more first team games.

Jones said: “We’ll pick from who we pick, but I think the rules are very sensible this year.

“For anyone to be fined this year you really would have to flaunt it a little bit. With us, we picked the side that we needed (last year) to give experience to and to gain and to test and to challenge.

“We’ll do that again with the selection we pick, but we won’t get that fined because of who we pick.

“The rules are far more sensible and I can probably guarantee you that they won’t detract or take anything away from the competition.”

Jones will make changes to the team that lost 1-0 at Barnet on Saturday though, with Danny Hylton and James Justin both in line to get their first minutes of the campaign.

He added: “They’ll be involved tomorrow and I’m looking forward to getting them both back as they’re two fantastic players, so it will be a good boost.

“They’ve trained well, gathered a little bit of momentum and it’s a big week for them.

“We’re going to make a few changes and they’ll be opportunities for people to make debuts.

“There will be an element of youth around the side and then we’ll make sure that we use the whole squad so that Saturday we go in and everyone’s up to speed, ready and available for selection.”

Meanwhile, Jones will be well prepared for the challenge of Spurs U23s, who lost 2-1 at Sunderland U23s in their opening Premier League Two Division One clash of the season on Friday.

He added: “Ironically you watch Spurs U23s as much you watch Mansfield or Lincoln or anyone, because they play regularly and it’s a pool that a lot of clubs at our level dip into.

“So we’ll have a good eye on them we’ve watched them two or three times, I’ve watched them against Cambridge in pre-season, had them scouted at Sunderland the other day.

“We know how Spurs play, I’ve watched Spurs a number of times last year, they played Stevenage, we understand how they play and it will be a good footballing game.

“I know Wayne Burnett (U23s head coach) very well, Justine Cochrane (assistant head of development), I also played with Justin, so it will be a good game.

“We’ll come up against a real good development side, but we want a real performance from them.

“We enjoyed our little venture into the Checkatrade tournament last year and we’re going to do that again.”