Whalley and Pelly out as Still forced into changes for FA Cup

Shaun Whalley
Shaun Whalley

Hatters duo Shaun Whalley and Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu are expected to miss Saturday’s FA Cup second round clash at Bury.

Whalley had started the previous two matches for Town, playing a starring role in the 3-0 win over Mansfield last weekend, but Still said: “Shaun took a knock on Saturday and it stiffened up.

“If we had a gun to our head, if it was the last game of the season and we had to win it, we’d probably push him to play.

“I don’t know how long he’d go, but in doing that, we might knock him back a bit further, and it’s coming up to a busy period in Christmas.

“If the game was Tuesday or Wednesday, he’d probably be okay, but he won’t make Saturday.”

On Ruddock Mpanzu, Still continued: “He’s had this problem with his hamstring and we’ve gone really steady with him.

“We played him in the development game (against AFC Wimbledon) and he just overstretched it and has found it not comfortable.

“It hasn’t re-pulled, but we just need to do more strength work with it. He’s another one who won’t be ready for Saturday, so probably next week.”

Meanwhile, Still will also be without Alex Lawless (foot), Paul Benson (broken leg), Luke Guttridge (metatarsal) and Ross Lafayette (hernia) as he gave an assessment of their injuries.

The boss said: “Alex, he’s recovering, so that’s good, but he’s not ready yet.

“For Paul, if he had to have a fracture in his leg, it was in the right place for him. If all went well, we’re looking at six weeks, so it’s disappointing but it’s just one of those things with our attacking players at the moment.

“Ross is just getting back to fitness, while we’ll know a bit more today about Guttridge.

“It’s the original injury he had, we tried to go really carefully with that early on, we didn’t push it early on in the season.

“We brought him in gradually, he played a few, not many, but he’s agitated it a little bit, so we’re getting a specialist to see it and that will give us a better idea.”

Defender Curtley Williams is also missing after dislocating his shoulder for the second time recently and is another who will visit a specialist.

Still said: “He’s gone to see someone today, but if that’s how we think it is, we’d all sooner it be pinned and done.

“Because it’s come out in training and come out in a game, I think that tells you a story. So hopefully the specialist agrees with what we saw.”

One piece of good news for Still is that defender Luke Wilkinson is available after his suspension, although the boss admitted Fraser Franks was a more than adequate replacement against the Stags.

He added: Fraser did very well, he stepped in and stepped in like a first team player and that’s exactly how it should be.”