Cornick still missing as Hatters boss not expected to ring the changes against Harrogate

Berry back in full training although Muskwe misses out
Town attacker Harry Cornick is out for LutonTown attacker Harry Cornick is out for Luton
Town attacker Harry Cornick is out for Luton

Luton will be without attacker Harry Cornick once more for their FA Cup third round fixture against Harrogate Town this afternoon, as manager Nathan Jones has declared he won't be ringing the changes for the clash at Kenilworth Road.

The seven-goal forward has had a fine first half of the season for Luton, but hasn’t played now since the 2-1 home defeat to Cardiff on November 27 due to a calf injury.

He is the Hatters’ only injury doubt going into today’s encounter though, with manager Nathan Jones saying: “Harry is the only one really.

“Luke (Berry) is back, he’s been in full training over the break so it has helped him and actually helped Harry because he hasn’t missed as many games as he should have.

"We’re almost at full strength, obviously we have Admiral Muskwe away with AFCON and we wish him well but apart from that, we’re in good shape.”

With the Hatters left kicking their heels since December 11 due to their last four games being called off due to Covid outbreaks in both theirs and opposition squads, Jones will probably go with a stronger side than he might have done had the matches gone ahead, to ensure enough minutes are gained ahead of a busy January period, Town playing five playing five games in 15 days.

He continued: “A lot of players need game time now as we missed four games, so it won’t be 11 changes.

"What we will do is we’ll pick a side to try and win the game against Harrogate, whatever side that is, however we go about it, it will be that kind of side.

"It won’t be one that people are rested or anything, as we now have to prepare for Bournemouth, but before Bournemouth, we’ve got a very, very difficult game and that’s the most important thing.

"The good thing is we can use five substitutes, nine on the bench so it will allow us to really freshen up the squad during the game so that we have maximum potency for the 90 minutes.

"As having not played for the duration we have, I can’t see everyone being right at it for 90 minutes, so it’s a good game for us really.”

The players who are selected for the match will definitely not be using it as any kind of a training exercise either, with captain Sonny Bradley wanting a win to ensure they go into the Cherries match and the rest of the campaign in high spirits.

He said: “It’s good for us to play against Harrogate, we know it’s going to be a difficult game, not just a nice light game to get us ready for Bournemouth, we’re not thinking like that at all.

"If we don’t approach this game with the right mindset, the right attitude, there’s a real chance of us getting beat and them causing an upset.

"So it's about being professional, doing a job, getting the win and using that as kind of a springboard for the rest of the season.

"Then we go into a tough run of games starting with the best team in the league in Bournemouth.”

It was the same for experienced striker Cameron Jerome though, who added: “You’ve got to approach it the same as it is a league game.

"It’s a competition we want to take seriously, so we can’t approach it half-heartedly as that’s when we will come unstuck.

"If we’ve got two or three players thinking it’s an easy-osy game, Harrogate are a League Two team, we’re better than them, we should win, we can’t approach it like that, that’s the wrong attitude to have.

"If we do that, we’ll be out of the cup, so we’ve got to be professional.

"It’s a game, an opportunity, the manager might change the team, one or two players might get a chance to stake their claim and that’s what it’s about.

"It’s about us getting into the next round of the cup, I’ll be reiterating that to the boys come Sunday.

"This is a competition we want to take seriously, it’s an opportunity for us, it’s a winnable game at home, make no mistake about that, so I expect us to go out there and put on a professional performance and be in the fourth round.”