Edwards unsure on extent of trio's injuries as Luton's decimated squad is hit once more at Spurs

Burke, Chong and Doughty all forced off in north London
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Luton boss Rob Edwards saw his already wafer-thin squad decimated even further during the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, admitting he has now idea how bad the injuries suffered by Reece Burke, Tahith Chong and Alfie Doughty could be.

The Hatters, who are have been ravaged all season, but particularly since Christmas, travelled to north London with 10 first team players absent, having to name two goalkeepers on the bench once more, along with two U18s, young pro Joe Johnson, plus Fred Onyedinma, who was in the squad for the first time this term.

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Despite that, Luton were 1-0 up at half time thanks to Chong’s early goal, before Burke became the first player to fall, failing to reappear for the second half, and Daiki Hashioka on in his place. Spurs levelled when Issa Kabore put through his own net, before as the game progressed, first Chong withdrew holding his leg and then Doughty hobbled off too.

Reece Burke came off injured against Spurs on Saturday - pic: Liam SmithReece Burke came off injured against Spurs on Saturday - pic: Liam Smith
Reece Burke came off injured against Spurs on Saturday - pic: Liam Smith

It meant that Town finished with a back four of Kabore, Hashioka, Teden Mengi and Onyedinma, as Son Heung-min’s late strike cruelly robbed the visitors of what would have been a deserved point for their endeavours. Asked for an update on the trio afterwards, Edwards said: “Reece is feeling his Achilles, we’ll have to see where he’s at, we don’t know.

“They (Chong and Doughty) came off with injuries, so it’s too early to tell at the moment how they’re going to be. We finished with every fit member of the senior playing staff, outfield players, on the pitch at the end. I think we’ve got probably 10 fit players at the moment. I look at how we finished the game, we’ve got a winger at left back, two right backs and a centre back on.

"It’s difficult at the best of times, but away at Tottenham it’s really, really hard. To be competitive with the amount of players we have missing, I’ve got to give the players a lot of credit. The effort was there, we played really well when we could and Tottenham, they press you and they react so well. They’re probably right up there with Liverpool for the quick regains, especially high up the pitch.”

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Already missing players such as Elijah Adebayo, Sambi Lokonga, Chiedozie Ogbene, Marvelous Nakamba and Jacob Brown, Town looked like they might hold on for a point, especially with the fortune of seeing Son hit both posts in the first half and then Doughty clear the ball away just a millimetre before it crossed the line.

However, that ran out though, Kabore crashing into his own net and Son’s shot deflecting off Hashioka to beat Thomas Kaminski, but Edwards had nothing but praise for the efforts of those on the field, adding: “If we’re going to win at Tottenham we’re going to need a bit of luck anyway, so we got a little bit at times and clearly, they’ve got some brilliant individuals, some great combinations, some fast, quick play.

"They created some chances, but we thought we can do this, and we still wanted to try and win, but it wasn’t to be. I can't fault the lads, we made some mistakes, of course we did, but the effort was amazing to be competitive and push them all the way. I can try and be realistic and remember who we’re coming up against and if we had everyone fit and available, this is obviously a big challenge at Tottenham, a team fighting for Champions League qualification.

“They’re a brilliant club, brilliant manager, so it’s hard anyway. I’ve got to give all of us some credit that we pushed them all the way, but it’s hard because I feel like I know we haven’t won much this year, but I feel like we’re winners. We want to win and it hurts.”

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