Luton boss expects Town to be a 'different animal' after international break as injury situation begins to ease

Hatters are starting to get their players back

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 9:13 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 9:14 am
Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Luton boss Nathan Jones is anticipating his side will be a ‘different animal’ once he has a fully fit squad to choose from after the international break.

The Hatters chief has witnessed what he has declared as an ‘unprecedented’ injury situation at the club recently, with a whole host of players unavailable for Town's Championship campaign.

Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu was the latest to be added to the list after picking up a training ground injury ahead of the Bournemouth game, joining the likes of Alan Campbell, Fred Onyedinma, Admiral Muskwe, Amari’i Bell, Dan Potts, Sonny Bradley, Jordan Clark and Danny Hylton who have all been missing recently.

However there are finally signs that is starting to change ahead of tonight’s home match with Coventry City, as Jones said: “We’re in much better shape, we’re getting a few people back, some more training in their legs so we’re in better shape.

“We’ve got a positive week this week and then we go into the international break and then we get our full squad back, and then in theory we should be a different animal.”

Captain Bradley made a brief comeback against Blackburn Rovers before missing the next two matches, although was fit enough for the bench during Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at table-topping Bournemouth.

Jones continued: “We didn’t want to change because we have had good performances recently so we didn’t want to change it defensively.

"On the whole we have been decent, it has just been moments.

"It's good to have him back, another weeks training in his legs, so he is in contention.”

Summer signing Bell was also selected as a substitute after his spell in the treatment room, the former Blackburn defender coming on for the second period and making some excellent forays on the left hand side.

Jones said: “It's been essential as Dan Potts has been out, Kal Naismith has been suffering a little bit, so we’re asking for big shifts on the full back and wing back, which is tough.

"It’s good to have him back, we’ve asked him to do a few things and he does.

"He just picked up an ankle injury first of all, then it was a little bit of a groin thing, so and the predicament we’re in at the minute, one we can’t push them too much, but two we had to push them a little bit as we were short in certain areas.”

Meanwhile, there was also better news for midfielder Clark who has now fully recovered from the horror collision he suffered at West Bromwich Albion last month, completing the full 90 at the Vitality Stadium.

Jones added: “Ironically we’ve had to play him in two games where he probably needed those games to gather a bit of pace.

"What was a concussion injury turned into a fracture because of the vociferous nature of the challenge, so we’ve been playing catch-up with him.

"He’s been brave, he’s been excellent, we’re looking forward to getting him back to his best and he’s a real bonus for us.

"We still have a lot of pace, power, energy out, in terms of Campbell, Pelly-Ruddock, Fred, Muskwe, so we’re looking forward to getting those back as well, and that’s the good thing about this week.”