Luton boss to make a decision over whether to risk Hylton against MK Dons

Hatters striker Danny Hylton
Hatters striker Danny Hylton

Hatters boss Nathan Jones will make a late decision on whether to risk striker Danny Hylton during tomorrow night’s Checkatrade Trophy group stage clash against MK Dons at Kenilworth Road.

The forward hasn’t featured for Luton since the 3-2 win over Shrewsbury on September 25, but has been back in training recently.

He’s kind of ready now, we can’t do anymore with him in terms of just building him up, all he’s doing now is adding money in the bank as they say.

Nathan Jones

However, on his chances of playing in midweek, Jones said: “It’s whether we want to risk him in it really.

“It’s not too early, he’s trained now for 10, 11 days with us, it’s just about what we want to do moving forward.

“It is a big game at the weekend (against Barnsley), so we need to make sure that we utilise the squad for both of those.

“It’s a tough decision as he’s kind of ready now, we can’t do anymore with him in terms of just building him up, all he’s doing now is adding money in the bank as they say.

“So it could be too early for him tomorrow, or we might just save him for the weekend.”

Flying attacker Kazenga LuaLua could be in line for his first Town start since arriving, having made just one appearance from the bench.

However, Jones admitted he doesn’t have as many options at his disposal as he has had for previous matches in this competition, saying: “If he’s been on the bench then he’s in contention to start tomorrow, because we will make changes, I won’t hide the fact of doing that.

“We’ve got to utilise the squad, but we’re not in the luxurious position we have been in previous years to make 11 changes, because we’ve got a lot of injuries.

“In terms of Hylton’s been out, (Luke) Berry’s out, (Lloyd) Jones is out, Marek Stech is out, Elliot Lee, (Dan) Potts, Frankie Musonda, that’s a big injury list and they’re big players for us.

“We have to have one eye on the weekend and make sure that we’re very competitive tomorrow night, so we’ll pick a side accordingly.

“It’s going to be a big week, we have to put in a big shift as a club this week and then a free week next week to look after them.”

When asked about Stech, who has missed the last seven matches after undergoing a hernia operation, Jones continued: “He’s back in the building and back doing certain things, but I had a hernia and I was back in 10 days, played a full 90 minutes after 10 days post op, so some are slightly different from others.

“I cant judge things as black and white as I don’t think they are that kind of injury, and I don’t mean to be pedantic in any way or critical, but they’re different.

“Certain people recover differently and it’s a different type of injuries at times.

“There’s no real timescale on it, but we’re hoping he’s going to be back soon rather than later as we want to get as many as we can with the other returning ones, because Lloyd Jones has had the same operation, and we’re looking at them recovering quickly for it.”

On the absence of Musonda, who has made 10 appearances in the competition, Jones said: “He rolled his ankle in training and that’s been a frustrating one as well as he did that about eight, nine, 10 days ago, and it’s prolonging a little bit.

“It’s frustrating for him and means that numbers-wise were a little bit short, which is the first time really since I’ve come here, as every time we go into these games we have a wealth of quality and numbers to use.

“That’s not quite the case this time, so we’ve got to dig in, put in big shifts as a club and come through this.”

Jones also confirmed there will be a sprinkling of U18s involved too as has always been the case since the tournament started.

He added: “We’ll name a 20-man squad and there’s a youth element to our squad, but we’ve got a young enough squad anyway.

“I was a little bit surprised that we never got the credit we did for the last round as Brighton were an U23 side and we were a legal U23 side.

“We had three, with the keeper, four over-age players if you like and then the rest were 23 and under.

“It was a really youthful and young side, we could have played in the U23 league with that one, but it was earmarked that we had an experienced side.

“We’ve got a young squad at times, we’ve got a good blend of youth and experience.

“In this competition we’ve given youth a chance and that won’t change tomorrow, but we have to be sure that we respect the competition and we are capable of competing.”