Edwards aware of Bell's extreme workload as he doesn't want to 'break' Jamaican international

Defender set to start his 98th game since November 2021 this weekend
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Luton boss Rob Edwards is well aware he will have to manage defender Amari’i Bell’s workload in the future as he doesn’t want to ‘break’ the Jamaican international.

Since missing the 0-0 draw at Nottingham Forest in November 2021, when he was named on the bench, Bell went on to start the following 29 league games of the season.

Last term, he began 43 of Town’s 46 Championship clashes, coming on for the final 18 minutes of the 2-2 draw against Coventry, suspended against Norwich and then rested for the goalless draw with Hull.

Town defender Amari'i Bell is put under pressure against West Ham recently - pic: Liam SmithTown defender Amari'i Bell is put under pressure against West Ham recently - pic: Liam Smith
Town defender Amari'i Bell is put under pressure against West Ham recently - pic: Liam Smith

Bell also played all three play-off fixtures and four FA Cup ties, racking up 3,866 league minutes during the regular season, the 14th highest from any outfield player in the second tier.

One of only five to play the entire play-off final with Coventry, while the majority of Luton’s squad were able to celebrate the 6-5 penalty shootout success over the summer, Bell was back to it just 19 days later, as part of the Jamaica squad for a friendly with Qatar.

He played another warm-up game and then started four out of five fixtures for the Reggae Boyz in the Gold Cup, as they reached the semi-finals, making it 11 caps won since the trip to the City Ground.

This season, Bell has played all three Premier League games for the Hatters, while completing 90 minutes in the Carabao Cup as well.

He has just got back from a trip to Kingston, as he featured in all 180 minutes of Jamaica’s CONCACAF Nations League qualifiers against Honduras and Haiti, meaning in total, he has started 97 matches in the space of just under 20 months, with 99 appearances in total.

With Dan Potts still out injured, it limits Luton’s options to rotate Bell’s role on the left of Town’s back three, and asked if his amount of football was a concern, with Bell likely to feature again for his country during the international break next month, Edwards said: “It is something that we’ve got to be aware of as we don’t want to break him.

"He’s really important for us, he’s had a lot of travelling, played a couple of games again this week, without any break.

"He got back in at 10.30 this morning, landed and was straight into training.

"So we’re going to have to get that right with him as well, as a really important player, but we don’t want to break him.”