Hatters boss insists Hylton can still be a force for Luton in the Championship

Striker available for selection once more after recovering from injury and Covid

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 8:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th September 2021, 8:02 pm
Danny Hylton is put through his paces ahead of the 0-0 draw with Sheffield United recently

Town boss Nathan Jones remains confident that, given the chance, striker Danny Hylton can still be a force for Luton in the Championship this season.

The 32-year-old last played for Town when coming off the bench for the final seven minutes of the 3-0 defeat at Stoke City on on February 20, his last start just four days earlier, the 2-0 home reverse to Cardiff City.

Since then Hylton has suffered a series of minor injuries and also had Covid-19 as well, meaning he is yet to score in the second tier, and hasn’t been on target for the Hatters in his last 30 appearances, last netting in March 2019, the 4-0 League One win over Doncaster Rovers.

However, the forward was seen training on the Kenilworth Road pitch ahead of the goalless draw with Sheffield United before the international break and remained at the club once the transfer window shut, named in the Hatters’ official Championship squad that was submitted to the EFL.

On how the striker, who has 58 goals in 148 appearances for the club since signing from Oxford in July 2016, is doing in his bid to get back on to the pitch once more, Jones said: “He’s looking very good, he’s training and he’ll be eligible for selection.

“He’s missed a little bit of pre-season because we were building him up and then unfortunately he got Covid and he caught it quite badly, so that curtailed him for near enough three to four weeks.

“But he’s in training, doing well, so I’m looking forward to hopefully Danny really impacting for us.”

Hylton had quite rightly been a much-feared striker during Luton's League Two days, terrorising visiting defences and infuriating opposition supporters, scoring 50 goals in his first two seasons, forming a prolific partnership with James Collins.

He was then on eight when suffering the knee injury against Doncaster Rovers, which turned into an 11-month absence described by the attacker as the toughest time of his career.

Although unable to prove himself in the second tier of English football yet, Jones has no doubts that if he can break into the team, he will do just that, adding: "Absolutely, before he had his injury problems, Danny was a Championship striker playing in League Two and League One, I’m absolutely convinced of that.

“You look at the performances he was putting in against Newcastle on a regular basis, he was outstanding, so there’s a Championship striker there, it’s just about getting rhythm.

"He played against Leeds for us, and he was outstanding, led the line fantastically well against the best team in the league.

"So Danny Hylton is a Championship striker, it’s just about getting rhythm and getting him over certain things he’s had.

"Then it's giving him the opportunity and I’m sure he’ll get the opportunity here.”