Doyle could be out for up to six weeks

Nathan Doyle
Nathan Doyle

Hatters John Still has confirmed midfielder Nathan Doyle could be missing for up to six weeks with a knee injury.

The former Bradford City man had to come off during Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw with York City, before hobbling back on to bravely fill in when Steve McNulty was dismissed in the closing stages.

Still said: “He’ll be out for a little while, we don’t exactly know how long yet. If it’s not as bad as it might be, it will be three weeks, if it’s as bad as it might be, six weeks.

“It was a bit of a challenge, he landed awkwardly and knew straight away so came off.

“When we assessed it, he chose to come back and go and stand there and give us another number to try and get the ball past.

“It wasn’t us saying to him to go on, but he just said, he could go back on and it might help. That shows you the quality of the person to do that.”

Doyle has been one of Still’s best acquisitions this term, showing his undoubted class in the centre of midfield since arriving on a free transfer back in September.

Again though, the Town boss believes his absence might give some of the younger members of the squad their chance to impress.

He continued: “He’s been a terrific player for us, a great addition, but as we found last year when lost some players towards the end of the season, the younger ones had to come in and they did really well.

“We do have Luke Guttridge whose had two games now under his belt. Matt Robinson has done very well when he’s played and the great thing about this game is that’s how people get opportunities.

“I’m not sure how many games Harry Kane would have played for Tottenham if (Robert) Soldado was in goalscoring form.

“But he wasn’t so he was pushed in and he’s come to the fore.

“It’s important to look at the younger element and see what happens when they get an opportunity to progress.

“How do they get an opportunity? Well it’s when people lose form or get an injury.”

Defender Scott Griffiths is available for Hatters after missing the draws with Oxford and York, while Alex Lawless, Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu and Luke Guttridge are back in contention too.

Still added: “He’ll (Griffiths) be okay. He wasn’t well on Saturday, but we had a few people feeling ill so we felt it best to exclude him.

“But he’ll be fine for Saturday and played in the reserves yesterday.

“Pelly, Luke Guttridge and Alex Lawless all played too, Alex and Pelly are probably a touch still behind of playing regularly, but the thing is, they’re coming back now.

“Paul Benson is training now, so everyone’s back in training, but the one thing we don’t want to do and I’m not going to do, is try and rush people back before they’re ready.

“We’ve waited this long and we were disappointed not to take three points the other night.

“But we know if we win our game in hand, we’re three points off the top team. So we can afford to let people come back rather than push them.”