Luton chief labels schedule as 'dangerous' ahead of facing in-form Bees striker Toney

Hatters boss Nathan JonesHatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Town chief worried about picking up injuries to his squad

Town boss Nathan Jones has labelled the schedule of games that his side are currently in as ‘dangerous’.

The Hatters take on Brentford at Kenilworth Road this afternoon, their fifth game in a run of seven matches in just 22 days.

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Luton have so far taken four points from a possible 12 on offer, as Jones said: “Thankfully there’s an international break coming up, so we’ve got to through three more games, hopefully pick up a good amount of points and then we can deflate slightly and recoup because at the minutes there’s a dangerous amount of games coming up.

“It’s relentless. We’ll work towards Brentford, we have to evaluate Brentford, debrief this game (1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest), so it’s another 14 hour day, then another 14 hour day, you wake up and then bang, you’re into a game.

“Then you manage to have a bit of Sunday lunch, and then you're in preparing for Rotherham and then preparing for Huddersfield, so it’s relentless.

“We’ve had a lot who have played big 90 minutes as it’s just a crazy, ridiculous schedule.

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“We understand why and the stupid thing is we’ve got three internationals coming up now which is berserk as how they arrange friendlies in this international break, it baffles me.

“It’s just mental and some of these players, top players are having to play a ridiculous amount, a dangerous amount, as the amount of soft tissue injuries that every club is having is really worrying."

Despite the congested run of games, Luton have done well not to pick up any extra injuries in recent matches, meaning that with James Collins now back after self-isolating due to a positive coronavirus test, they only have doubts over Harry Cornick, James Bree and Dan Potts.

On Collins’ return in the 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest in midweek, Jones continued: “He was quiet, but he didn’t have a great amount of service.

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"When you’ve been out for 10 days with coronavirus, then sometimes it’s not easy to come in and hit the ground running.

"If we didn't have Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday last week, then we probably would have kept with Danny (Hylton) as I thought he was excellent at the weekend (1-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday).

"So it’s swings and roundabouts in terms of that, but with the berserk schedule we have to make sure we’re fresh in every department.

"He’ll be in the squad, but we’ve got to make sure that we’re fresh and ready.

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“We’ve got a lot of people coming back as well, James Bree, (Dan) Potts, Harry Cornick due to come back.

“We’ve got a good strong squad, Luke Berry got rested, so there's a real desire to do well and a real good squad there and we’re going to need them."

Luton go up against a Brentford side this afternoon, who are yet to fully hit the heights of last season that saw them finish in third spot, missing out on the Premier League after a play-off final defeat to Fulham.

The Bees lost prolific striking duo Olly Watkins and Said Benhrama this summer to the top flight, Aston Villa and West Ham both swooping, although they did shell out £5m bring in Ivan Toney from Peterborough, the attacker scoring eight times in his last six outings.

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Thomas Frank’s side have taken 11 points from their opening eight matches with three defeats to sit 11th, two places below the Hatters, as Jones said: “He (Toney) was originally at Newcastle and had a number of loan moves, then found a home at Peterborough, did really well and is now doing well again.

"But they (Forest) had Lyle Taylor, who was in League One, prolific, the week before we come up against (Steven) Fletcher of Stoke and these are top players.

"Every team in this division has got a top, top player, realistically.

“We’ve come up against him, it's only now that he’s really hit the heights that he’s hitting and he’s proving to be a fantastic striker.

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"But Brentford are a top side as Luton found our last year, so it’s not just that threat, there’s a number of threats there.

It’s going to be tough, whether it’s Brentford, Rotherham away, Huddersfield, it’s Forest, it’s Sheffield Wednesday, it’s Stoke the week before.

“The amount of ex-Premier League clubs that are involved and we’re competing with those, so they’re all going to be tough and we have to be at our best.

“That’s why we have to use our squad, we have to be structurally good, we have to be dominant when we can, we have to take our opportunities, defend well, all the good things we’ve got to do on a relentless basis."

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