Luton boss labels rule that saw Baggies keeper avoid red for a collision that 'could have killed' Town midfielder as a 'disgrace'

Clark won't be available to face Sheffield United

Thursday, 26th August 2021, 6:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th August 2021, 6:40 pm
Jordan Clark collides with Sam Johnstone during his side's 3-2 defeat at West Bromwich Albion recently

Luton boss Nathan Jones has labelled the fact that West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone avoided being sent off for his collision with Town's Jordan Clark recently that 'could have killed' the midfielder as a 'disgrace'.

The 27-year-old was left needing around 15 minutes of treatment on the Hawthorns turf earlier this month after being the recipient of a horror challenge from the England shot-stopper who came out to punch a cross clear, only to clean out his opponent, crashing into him with both knees.

Johnstone wasn't even shown a card for the incident, something that infuriated Jones, as although Clark is now clear to play against Sheffield United this weekend with the concussion protocols passed, he isn't ready to be involved as the Town chief said: "The concussion and the impact was such a violent one and I mean that not from an intentional point of view, but it is the only way to describe it.

"There was some trauma there in terms of pain from impact so that will take a little bit of time.

"The concussion is fine, it is in and around the shoulder area where he really took both knees.

"Sam Johnstone is a big guy, came out with real ferociousness really and it has caused him a problem, he won’t be ready for Saturday.

"The rule is a disgrace because you can come out with knees flying and really hurt someone,

"It is dangerous, it could have killed him, you come out with knees and he wasn’t suspecting it, you catch him in the wrong part of the head or the neck and you can kill him.

"It is a disgrace of a rule.

"We’re not pointing fingers at Sam Johnstone but the rule is a disgrace because if a player does that, goes into the back of someone knee-high, half-attempting to head the ball, it is a red card and it is a three game ban at least.

"Keepers can protect themselves with their hands, because the actual contact is very worrying, really, really worrying.

"Nothing said, nothing done and that is the real rule.

"We’re talking about concussion, talking about can’t head a football but that could end someone in one action and something needs to be done about it.

"He wont be ready for Saturday and then we have two weeks of international break where we really hope to see him back."

Meanwhile, when asked about Town's other injury concerns, Sonny Bradley and Reece Burke, Jones added: "A lot closer on all of them, they have all trained this week.

"Sonny is back, Reece Burke is back, (Tom) Lockyer has had an extra week so we’re in a better place."