Luton chief frustrated as Sluga warms the bench for Croatia again

Town boss: They might as well have taken the dustman!
Town keeper Simon SlugaTown keeper Simon Sluga
Town keeper Simon Sluga

Town chief Nathan Jones couldn’t hide his frustration that goalkeeper Simon Sluga once more failed to gain any playing time with Croatia during the international break.

The 27-year-old was called up by manager Zlatko Dalić, but didn't gain a single minute on the pitch in any of the three games, with Dinamo Zagreb stopper Dominik Livaković used instead, even for the 2-1 friendly win in Switzerland.

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It’s becoming a common theme now, with Sluga’s last of his two caps coming back in November 2019, the World Cup finalists playing five matches since then.

On his lack of match action, Jones said: “I can’t comment on Croatia and what they do, but for me, they might as well have taken the dustman!

"As if you’re not going to play, then he just goes out there, trains, and is away from his club.

"For me he has to be tested, otherwise it’s a pointless thing, but I’m not going to all of sudden give you a headline.

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"Realistically if he’s not going out there and getting experience and just going out there to be a training keeper, that must be frustrating because it doesn’t seem like there's any chance of him at the minute playing.

"It's frustrating for us as we lose him, we haven’t had him back today (Thursday) and then he just comes in tomorrow without playing.

"The bonus is he probably gets back to Croatia, so he probably gets back and sees his family, which is always tough for a young player to be away from his family, so that’s one bonus.

"Mentally he will be in a better place for doing that, but in terms of him going away, then he would have trained with Luka Modric, and that’s probably the bonus.”

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It was the exact opposite for Luton team-mate Rhys Norrington-Davies, as the full back made his senior Wales debut during the 1-0 Nations League victory in Bulgaria on Wednesday evening, playing the full 90 minutes.

Jones added: "I thought he was outstanding, but he just continued his form from when he’s been with us.

"He's a great lad, great athlete, good energy and showed that, he fitted in superbly well to Wales and I thought he was excellent.

"He’s always in a fantastic mood to be fair to him, he loves being down here, loves life, is a real giver in terms of everything and he’s enjoyed his trip away.

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"He’s seen a new country so that will be a bonus for him, everything will be like Disney World, he’s that type of player.

"We're delighted for him and we always preach that people always get better when they come here and kick on and he’s done that.

"We would have preferred in all honesty that it wasn't the Wednesday night game, but we can never chose that, as he’s less fresh for us and we’ve got to look after him and get him ready for the weekend."