Mullins out of Dons clash as FA Youth Cup hinders Luton’s options

Johnny Mullins is out of tomorrow night's Checkatrade Trophy clash
Johnny Mullins is out of tomorrow night's Checkatrade Trophy clash

Hatters defender Johnny Mullins will be out of tomorrow night’s Checkatrade Trophy group stage clash at AFC Wimbledon after injuring his ankle during Saturday’s 3-0 defeat against Coventry City.

The 31-year-old was only starting his second league game of the campaign but was forced to hobble off just before the hour mark.

That’s football though, he has to keep his head down and plugging away.

Nathan Jones

Town boss Nathan Jones said: “He’s just rolled his ankle, it’s frustrating for Johnny as for big chunks of the game on Saturday he did ever so well and then he picked up that injury which disrupted us a little bit in how we play, but it’s part and parcel.

“That’s football though, he has to keep his head down and plugging away.

“He’s really well liked here and well respected, he knows that and we talk to him regularly as he’s an experienced one so he’s not used to being out of the team.

“But such has been the competition and Scott (Cuthbert) and Sheez (Alan Sheehan) have been in real good form that it’s been a real frustrating time for him.”

Although Glen Rea was sent off against the Sky Blues on Saturday, Jones didn’t rule out using him and other players who have been involved in the first team recently.

He continued: “They’re all in contention tomorrow.

“Lawson (D’Ath) is a bit more up to speed, so’s Andrew Shinnie, who was big player for us.

“In recent weeks we’ve changed shape, but with the full strength available we have options not just personnel wise but system wise as well

“We’ll be as strong as we can be tomorrow in terms of looking after everyone and with an eye on Saturday and what they’ve done in recent weeks and so on, because it’s been a big month, with seven games in this month.

Jones has used the competition to blood a number of his youth team players, with Jack James making his debut this season against Spurs U23s, while Arthur Read also featured.

However, that may not be the case this time, with the U18s facing Stevenage the day after, as Jones added: “Our youth team have got an FA Youth Cup game on Wednesday night, so that doesn’t help either and the timing of that baffles me, absolutely baffles me.

“Because we’re really at pressure on us to play these (FA Youth Cup) games, then try to arrange the second round if we get through, then we’ve got to play it by certain times.

“So they want young players to come through, but I won’t be able to play that many of my young players as they’re all going to play Wednesday night, so it’s a difficult one.

“We might be able to bring them off the bench, but we can’t bed them in as we’ve had so much pressure to play the FA Youth Cup game around about this time.

“It just begs the question, has anyone actually looked at the fixture list? But that’s the way it is.”