Still to make late call on Town’s injury worries

John Still
John Still

Hatters boss John Still will leave it until tomorrow before deciding on which of his injured players could take to the field against Oxford United on Saturday.

Midfielder Jonathan Smith is fit again after missing the 1-0 win over Cambridge, but the likes of Jake Howells, Paul Benson and Luke Rooney are all still rated as doubtful.

Still said: “I’ll know a bit more tomorrow, sometimes when you go out and you exert yourself in training, you can be a bit stiff, or the injury can be a bit sore, not restrictive but sore.

“We’ve found Paul Benson training for a couple of games this week so we’ll see how he is tomorrow, and that could be another one back.

“I don’t think he’ll (Rooney) be okay. I’m saying no, but he’s trained today, without being 100 per cent on it.

“But 24 hours can make a massive difference, so we’ll have a look at him tomorrow.

“Is he a definite yes? No he’s not. Is he a definite no? No he’s not. “He’s somewhere in the middle, so we’ll have a look.

“Jake Howells has done quite a bit of today without doing everything. He’s still sore on his foot, but he’s managed to do some.”

Curtley Williams is also a major doubt and with Paul Connolly still out, Alex Lacey could well fit in at right back, despite also picking up a slight knock this week.

Still said: “It’s really important wherever you can not to risk people.

“We had to do it with Curtley Williams, we didn’t really have a choice and in the end he had to come off (against Cambridge).

“Fraser (Franks) who isn’t fit can do a job there, but not ideally, while he (Lacey) has had a little bit of a knock, but has trained as well and went there (right back) and did well.

“So if that was the case again, it wouldn’t give us too much trouble and we’ll evaluate the situation with Curt and Paul Connolly next week.

“If Curt wasn’t available on Saturday, I’m pretty sure he’ll be able to play next week and maybe Paul Connolly as well, so that situation will look a lot healthier.”

Meanwhile, Shaun Whalley and Nathan Doyle are both in contention for the squad after featuring against Portsmouth in a development game this week and Still confirmed that the possibility of further players returning has prevented him utilising the loan market.

He added: “Shaun Whalley played on Tuesday, his first game, only his first game, so not there yet.

“Doyle played 70 minutes, and did very well, so that was pleasing.

“There’s a couple there that we can add back to what we’re doing, not probably ready to start yet, but if you needed them could play.

“(Alex) Lawless has stepped up training, so we’re hoping that’s not too far away, so the picture’s looking brighter over the next week to 10 days and is not as gloomy as it was.

“That’s what we’ve held on for, you can only hold for so long, but we’ve tried to resist going and bringing people in that after a couple of weeks you’re thinking, we didn’t really need to do that.

“So although we’ve got our fingers on the pulse in a couple of areas, this is making it a little bit better for us.”

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