Hatters may blood more youngsters against Lions
Hatters boss Nathan Jones admitted there maybe some more youngsters making their first team debuts against Millwall in the EFL Checkatrade Trophy this evening.
The Luton chief has already seen 10 academy graduates feature in the first team since taking over back in January, with Freddie Hinds and Jack Snelus the latest two on Town’s well documented conveyor belt of talent during the last game against West Brom.
When asked if some of the U18s who saw off Barnet in the FA Youth Cup last week might get a chance tonight, Jones said: “There’s a lot of them that are pushing, a lot of them that are knocking on the door, metaphorically of course, but it would be wrong of me to hold them back.
“They have to be the right ones, we don’t just hand people stuff. The ones that are doing well and have earned the right to pull on the first team shirt, have, and there’s one or two knocking on that door.
“So we’ll see when we pick the squad, there might be one or two that just nick in there.”
Meanwhile, on his record at bringing the young players at Kenilworth Road through since taking charge, Jones continued: “I’ve been in a privileged position to be able to do that.
“There’s a good group of young players and it’s wrong to hold them back. At times it’s been right to put them in, and out of that 10, I think a lot of them have played proper minutes as well.
“It’s not just been we’ve brought them on to give them a debut as well, so we’re pleased, but it’s a great group here and would be wrong of me to stunt their development.
“James Justin is now in our first team, Akin (Famewo), I had no hesitation in putting him in, in what is quintessentially, can he handle Hartlepool away on a Tuesday night?
“Well, yes, literally he can and there’s plenty coming through as well that we want to push and want to keep developing.
“Now that’s a credit to everyone at the club, now they’re not there yet, but we want to keep them continuing on the path.
“If you don’t test them, you never know how good they’re going to be. So we need to test them and these are proper tests and I haven’t been afraid because of that test and knowing what they’re like.”