Hatters boss not sure how long summer signings Campbell and Onyedinma will be out for after duo suffer ligament damage

Town boss still can't believe Lenihan didn't receive a red card at the weekend

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 1:49 pm
Allan Campbell receives treatment against Blackburn on Saturday

Luton boss Nathan Jones isn’t sure just how long summer signings Allan Campbell and Fred Onyedinma will be missing for after confirming both have suffered ligament damage.

Campbell, who joined from Scottish Premier League side Motherwell in the summer, was caught by an awful studs high challenge from Blackburn Rovers’ captain Darragh Lenihan on Saturday after just 10 minutes and was forced to limp off.

Fellow new addition Onyedinma, who starred in Luton’s opening day 3-0 win over Peterborough United, missed the trip to Ewood Park, as speaking about the pair, Jones said: “It’s (Campbell’s injury) ligament damage, it’s a high ankle sprain and he’s very, very fortunate, honestly, really fortunate.

“It will be a spell on the sidelines, we don’t know how long exactly, pretty similar to Fred Onyedinma’s.

“Fred’s was on the training ground, an innocuous one, whereas that was slightly different, so we’ll just have to wait on them.”

Speaking after the game, Rovers boss Tony Mowbray insisted that the challenge on Campbell, wasn’t a sending off offence, as his skipper 'made full contact with the ball.'

Footage clearly shows otherwise though, as it was described by Quest's EFL Show pundit Job McAnuff as 'as bad a tackle you're going to see this season,' with Jones still disbelieving as to how a red wasn't shown.

When asked about his opposite number’s comments, he continued: “With the greatest of respect, Tony would have a duty to protect his player and not come out and hang his player to dry but any sane 2020 vision or slightly diminished vision with an idea of what is right and wrong would know that was a categorical, nailed-on, red card.

“I would have probably preferred the referee hadn’t seen it totally because there could have been retrospective action but a terrible challenge that is a red card.

“There is no way in a million years that Tony Mowbray thinks that isn’t a red card, he would have to come out and defend his player and rightly so.”

In fact the most annoying thing for Jones was that with the incident taking place right in front of the dug-out, was that neither referee Oliver Langford or fourth official Andy Haines, plus the referee's assistant, deemed the challenge worthy of a red, as he added: “Much has been said about it and again, I don’t think the player meant any malice but the more you look at it, the worse it gets.

“He is very, very fortunate to not have sustained a season-ending injury because it isn’t good.

“I spoke to the referee after so I don’t want to get myself in trouble but the unbelievable thing is that three officials, who were in the same proximity as me, didn’t think that was a red card because I knew instantly.

"I’m not saying it after the event, I knew instantly and you can see my reaction from the dugout, that that was a terrible challenge and I knew it.

"It wasn’t dealt with and lots have been said about the comeback and certain things and about Blackburn, but it rocked us.

"Blackburn scored two goals out of absolutely nothing, some good technical goals but they shouldn’t have happened because they should have been down to ten-men and Lenihan had a hand in both goals, that shouldn’t have happened.

"We should have been favourities to then go on and win that game but as it was, it was a wonderful way to get a point but everything should have been irrelevant because it way as clear as day.”