Full back Potts labelled as 'absolutely outstanding' by Hatters boss following his comeback from injury

Town defender Dan Potts with a forward pass against Preston on SaturdayTown defender Dan Potts with a forward pass against Preston on Saturday
Town defender Dan Potts with a forward pass against Preston on Saturday
Defender completes three successive 90 minutes after four months out

Town full back Dan Potts’ performance levels since his long overdue return to the first team has been described as ‘absolutely outstanding’ by boss Nathan Jones.

The 26-year-old hadn’t played for more than four months after foot and groin problems led to a frustrating stint on the sidelines for the former West Ham youngster.

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He returned to training a few days prior to being thrown in for the 2-0 defeat at Swansea City earlier this month, keeping his place as Luton then drew 0-0 at Coventry City last Tuesday night.

Potts then remained in the side on the weekend with Town defeating Preston North End 3-0 at Kenilworth Road, making it three full games in the space of just seven days.

His availability has allowed on-loan Sheffield United defender Rhys Norrington-Davies a welcome rest from first team action, the Welsh international forced to start the opening 12 league and cup games, which inevitably led to a slight hamstring concern.

He missed the last two games before coming off the bench at the weekend to play just ahead of Potts in a more advanced role, as on the defender who now has 154 appearances for Town since signing in May 2015, Jones said: “It’s amazing what you can do when you really apply yourself to doing that, and Dan’s been excellent.

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“It’s been a long, slow process where we haven’t rushed him and then right at the end we probably said, ‘no, we need to rush you now as it’s needs must.’

“He’s stepped up and been excellent, and had three very, very good performances.

“He’s not going to be able to keep playing 90s, 90s, 90s, otherwise he could break down, so we’re going to have to look after him, but in terms of right up to now, he’s been absolutely outstanding for us.

“It’s great to have him back because we’ve missed Dan.

"Rhys has had to play seven or eight 90s on the spin, at his age, with the intensity he plays at, it’s limited us in that position.”

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Potts has been part of a changing defence that has kept two successive clean sheets, Matty Pearson returning from suspension to play right back on Saturday after Town reverted to a back four after opting to select three centre halves at Coventry in midweek.

Jones continued: "I’ve got four back there who actually enjoy defending, it doesn’t interest them going forward, Matty Pearson he’s not interested, (Tom) Lockyer and Sonny Bradley.

"Potts has been brilliant since he's come back in, three games considering the level and the amount of time he’s been out, so I was really proud of the group and proud of the club."

It also saw Glen Rea move out defence and into his holding midfield role at the weekend, to produce a marvellous display, helping to restrict Preston to very little in terms of clear-cut chances.

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Jones preferred to praise the whole team though, adding: "Glen was outstanding right in front of the back four, but we knew that we’d come up against Jayden Stockley before and has dominated centre halves that we’ve had in the past and that didn’t happen.

"We know that their midfield is very, very good, Alan Browne, (Ryan) Ledson, (Daniel) Johnson, Brad Potts, these are players that are very, very good Championship players.

"So we knew we had to be right at it, and we were.

"Everyone had to defend well, everyone had to put in a shift, Glen did that, but so did everyone, so it would be really wrong of me to single anyone out."