Musonda is ready to bide his time for an opportunity at Luton

Frankie Musonda in action for Luton at AFC Wimbledon
Frankie Musonda in action for Luton at AFC Wimbledon

Hatters defender Frankie Musonda has every faith that he is at the right place to continue his progress as a young pro.

The 19-year-old made his first start since January during Tuesday night’s 2-1 win at AFC Wimbledon in the Checkatrade Trophy, partnering Akin Famewo in the centre of Luton’s defence, in what was only his second appearance this season.

The gaffer spoke to us and said just to trust him with our development and when he sees and thinks we’re ready, he’ll put us in.

Frankie Musonda

Although Musonda has been on the bench at times, he hasn’t featured in a league game for Luton now since May 2016, as he said: “It’s been a bit frustrating not really playing many games, but you’ve just got to watch and learn and then keep trying to improve every day.

“The gaffer spoke to us and said just to trust him with our development and when he sees and thinks we’re ready, he’ll put us in.

“He says at the minute we’ve shown we’re capable, especially second half, but still not quite there compared to the likes of Sheez (Alan Sheehan), Scotty (Cuthbert), (Johnny) Mullins and Glen (Rea).

“Just being around the first team environment in and around the games, the odd bench appearance, it’s all good experience to be ready when you get that chance.”

On his partnership with Famewo, Musonda said: “We’ve played about three years together now and are trying to create a partnership.

“So when we get the chance, we’ve just got to try and show what we can do really, and we enjoyed it.”

When asked just how near Musonda and fellow centre half Famewo were to featuring in his plans for the first team, Jones said: “They’re very close. What it is, they’re pushing, constantly pushing.

“Alan Sheehan for example is ahead of Akin, but if something happens to Sheez then I’d have no problem playing Akin whatsoever.

“I trust him, same with Frankie. Frankie has slightly more competition from the right siders, as there’s Johnny Mullins, Scott Cuthbert and Glen Rea who can do that, but I’d have absolutely no problem playing either one of them.

“Against Millwall last year they learned and had a real good test, Tuesday night 
they learned and they’re better for it.

“They’re close. There’s no-one in our squad that I wouldn’t think twice about putting into our first team.”

However, Jones did admit that sending the pair away from Luton on loan could be beneficial to them, as he said: “They might do, but we can’t say that that’s going to be the pathway for them.

“They may have to be patient, they may get an opportunity, take it, and stay in, you never know when opportunity arises.

“But if it comes through a loan move, or comes through the Checkatrade games or it comes through them actually playing well enough or someone picking up an injury or suspension, then what they’ve got to make sure is that they’re ready to take the opportunity when they get it, as I won’t fear to put them in.”

Goalscorer on the night, Andrew Shinnie had been left impressed by the centre half pairing as when asked how good they could be, he added: “They can be as good as they want.

“If you see the size of them, they’re athletes, they’re fast, very strong, it’s just about learning the game.

“That’s what the manager said after the game, just about taking their time and the manager’s a good manager at bringing them through.

“He’ll coach them well and they’ll go on to have good careers, if they really concentrate and put their mind on it, as they’ve got all the attributes to play in English football.”