Luton chief happy to have a selection headache over who goes in goal for Fulham visit

Sluga and Shea both fit for weekend encounter

By Mike Simmonds
Thursday, 9th December 2021, 3:26 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th December 2021, 3:26 pm
Town stopper James Shea is pushing for his first league start at home this season on Saturday - pic: Gareth Owen
Town stopper James Shea is pushing for his first league start at home this season on Saturday - pic: Gareth Owen

Hatters boss Nathan Jones has welcomed the selection headache he faces over who to choose in goal for Saturday’s visit of Fulham.

With Croatian international Simon Sluga now fit again after missing last weekend’s trip to Blackpool due to illness, James Shea deputised and produced an excellent display, with some terrific saves to keep the scores goalless in the first period.

In a vote run by the Luton News on Twitter this week, Town fans declared they would like to see Shea remain between the posts for the visit of the Cottagers, as when asked about Sluga's fitness and his decision over who plays, Jones said: “He’s very good, back in training Tuesday and today, so no issues.

“It’s a good one (choice), because it’s all about competition and to promote competition you have to have an even playing field.”

Whoever does get the nod, Jones expects them, as he will himself, to relish the challenge of going up against a side who were in the Premier League last term and are red hot favourites to return there this season, following a 10-game unbeaten run which has propelled Marco Silva’s side to the top of the Championship.

He added: “As a player, as a manager, a coach, you want to test yourself and that’s the great thing about the Championship.

"With the greatest respect in League Two and League One, we had to defend from set-plays and certain amounts of things, maybe an individual and then we concentrated purely on ourselves as we believed we were the best team, squad in both leagues.

"That’s not quite the same here, we concentrate on everything we do, but we have to get it right, so when we utilise for example, our pressing, we have to know where we press from, when can we press, who presses, who backs that up.

"So the tactical element is fantastic, one as a player and then two as manager, a coach.

"Our work is relentless in the Championship as we know we have to be right at it.

"But that’s why you get challenged, that’s why we wanted to get to this level and that’s why we don’t want to stand still.”