Cook remains a doubt for Hartlepool trip

Luton Town chief Nathan Jones will leave it late before making a decision on whether midfielder Jordan Cook is fit enough to face Hartlepool United tomorrow.

Monday, 26th September 2016, 4:59 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:33 pm
Jake Gray slides in to dispossess Matt Blair on Saturday

The 26-year-old was substituted after 36 minutes of Hatters’ 3-1 win over Doncaster on Saturday due to a tight hamstring.

When asked if he would feature, Jones said: “We’ll reassess, as we’ve had to recover the last two days.

“Jordan, his hamstring was cramping and we had a few that were doing that as well which is unusual as one we have a fit squad and two, we working hard.

“It’s just a little bit of a coincidence and the intensity of the game would have added to that, so we’ll evaluate everyone and see where we are, whatever side we put out will be strong side because we have a good squad.”

Cook was replaced by Jake Gray for his first league action in a month, with the former Crystal Palace midfielder catching the eye with a committed display.

Jones knew that would be the case as he said: “He’s been very unfortunate, maybe a little bit unlucky not to have played more game, as he brought in here to play.

“He’s an excellent player, done excellent in every game he’s played, just the competition is fierce there.

“He’s a great lad, we knew if we do bring him on or if he starts, we know what we’re going to get from him, a level of top performance, we’re really pleased with Jake and we’re glad we’ve got him.”

Jones also reserved words of praise for Olly Lee, who gave a tremendous performance in the holding role, breaking up play effectively while having a hand in both Town’s first half goals too.

He continued: “I think he played well, but that’s his job, that’s what we want from him.

“I’ve been saying for him to concentrate on what he’s good at and then work on the stuff he can improve on, but he was excellent.

“His ball retention was very good at the weekend, his assist for the goal was excellent, but he kept us on the front foot as well with some telling passes and that’s what he’s in the side for, so I want him to do that.

“At times when I’ve changed him, it hasn’t been because he’s not been doing the things he can’t do, at times he hasn’t been doing those and then the stuff he’s very, very good at, he hasn’t been doing either.

“So it’s pleasing for him and I speak to him regularly and I rate him, I think he’s an excellent player, that’s why he’s here, it was good for him.”

Meanwhile, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu looked back to his best after being on the bench against Crawley last week, driving Luton back into the game and then winning a penalty late on as Jones added: “He did very well, we want a consistency now from him, because we know on any given day he can be outstanding, but we want a little bit more consitency from him, so we have it over a longer period of time and if we have that, then inevitably we’ll become a better team.”