Hatters chief hopeful of having five players back following international break

Luton boss sees an end to ongoing injury problems

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 9:31 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 9:34 am
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Town boss Nathan Jones is hoping to report a clean bill of health following the international break with as many as five players returning from injury.

The Luton chief has seen his squad struck down by various knocks and ailments in recent weeks, declaring the situation an 'unprecedented one' with up to seven missing at one point.

Alan Campbell and Fred Onyedinma both suffered ligament damage, with Campbell only just back now, while Dan Potts, Danny Hylton, Admiral Muskwe and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu all missed Saturday’s goalless draw against Huddersfield too.

Both Sonny Bradley and Amari’i Bell have had spells out, although were able to start in midweek and at the weekend, although Tom Lockyer has now pulled out of the Wales squad due to an injury concern.

as on the upcoming fortnight off, Jones said: “We should get five back so we should come out of the international break with a clean bill of health.

"God willing we don’t pick up any more as we’ve really got a chance.

"I think it’s a mental focus really, physically we’re in a good place, it’s just mentally game after game after game, I demand from them and they give me everything, fair play to them.

"I think it’s a nice time so we can mentally deflate a little bit and then go again because we've got a big month coming up.

"But anyone that watches us can see that we’re gathering something, are trying to do something.”

Having more attacking options available will only help the Hatters going forward, especially with the ability to change a game in the second period, something that Jones felt they could have done with to try and break down a defensive-minded Huddersfield on Saturday.

He continued: “The wind was really heavy and that’s when we really need a freshness.

"We’ve got Fred, Admiral, Alan Campbell coming back, Pelly-Ruddock still missing, so we’ve got big players missing that will provide a real spark.

"I’m very pleased with the position we’re in at the minute.

“I think we should be higher than 13th, but we are in a good place in terms of the squad, the style, the aggression we’re showing, the hunger, how they’re learning, how they’re evolving and we’re different.

"When I first came back here we had to do a job, while last year, we were a certain team.

“Now we might not have the points we probably deserve and might not have had this time last year, but performances, how we are evolving, I’m really, really pleased, I think we’re in a good place."

Town might have claimed all three points on Saturday when Amari'i Bell met Harry Cornick's cross but from just a few yards out, the full back could only hit the inside of the post.

Jones added: "It flashed across, great ball, great movement, it hit the post, and it's just got to be a little bit lower.

"But we had 21 crosses in the first half, it's just can we show a little bit more quality? Can we put the ball in the right area enough times?

"Because I thought our variation of set-plays was excellent, and these are the best in the league at set-plays, in terms of the aggression they show.

"I thought we defended excellently, another clean sheet, five in 11, so we’re showing we’re in a good place.

"We’d like to be higher, like to have more points and that’s probably to do with clinical edge and that will come, especially when we add competition with the others coming back.

"So I’m relatively pleased and I think as a club, as a squad, as a team, we’re in a decent place.