Hatters boss Nathan Jones praised club physiotherapist Simon Parsell after midfielder Glen Rea played out the entire second half of Town’s 3-1 win over Barnet in a swimming cap yesterday.
The Irish U21 international required treatment after a clash of heads before the break, and retook the field in the latest fashion accessory modelled by a Luton player, wearing something seen in the local swimming baths rather than on a football pitch.
I told them in jest a while back when we had our last cut, just get a swimming cap.Nathan Jones
However, it was all part of a ploy devised after what had originally been a joke from the Town chief after a previous head injury, as he said: “It’s weird. I’ve got to commend my staff there because it takes so long normally to strap someone up, then it doesn’t stick on, then the blood come through.
“So I told them in jest a while back when we had our last cut, just get a swimming cap.
“And he actually did. Simon Parsell has gone out and bought one and neither of them wearing those decorations (Rea and Danny Hylton’s face mask) are good looking fellows, so I think it’s improved both of them.”
Rea was full of zest in his midfield partnership with Jonathan Smith, diving into a number of full blooded challenges as Luton looked to command the middle of the pitch.
Along with Hylton, who led the line superbly all afternoon, the pair played vital roles in Town ending 2016 on a high, as Jones continued: “I’ve bought them here as I know what I’m going to get from them.
“I know what I’m going to get from Danny Hylton and know what I’m going to get from Glen Rea.
“I saw it for three years at Brighton, so that’s why manager’s sign certain players as they know what they’re going to get. It’s no gamble and we haven’t had many gambles.
“Danny Hylton proves why he’s the best in the league as that performance of leading the line, was ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous.”
Hatters made four changes in total for the fixture, with Rea’s positional swap just one alteration, as Jonathan Smith, Alan Sheehan, Jordan Cook and Dan Potts all came in to the side from the disappointing 1-0 reverse to Colchester.
On his different line-up with Town also heading to Portsmouth tomorrow, Jones added: “Because of the close proximity of the games we want a fresh squad.
“We ask them to press, ask them for energy and you can’t do that three games in quick succession if you haven’t got a fresh squad.
“We’ve got a good squad, we made changes, made changes to the bench, left a few people out just to freshen things up.
“We want impetus from the bench, so they’re important as well. I made the changes to try and win the game, picked a side I wanted to start on the front foot.
“My two central midfield players are not the easiest on the eye, but they don’t half work and I know what I’m going to get from them.
“Special mentions, I thought Scotty (Cuthbert) dealt with (John) Akinde really, really well and Jonathan Smith was immense. The team looked solid and we thoroughly deserved the win.”