Town chief found it 'strange' Sluga didn't win another Croatia cap in Nations League

Town keeper Simon SlugaTown keeper Simon Sluga
Town keeper Simon Sluga
Hatters stopper back and in contention for season opener at Barnsley

Town chief Nathan Jones described it as ‘strange’ that keeper Simon Sluga didn’t get any game time for Croatia during their Nations League matches this week.

The 27-year-old was called up by Zlatko Dalic for the games with Portugal and France, as he missed Luton's Carabao Cup tie against Norwich City, only to see Dinamo Zagreb stopper Dominik Livaković play both sets of 90 minutes, in respective 4-1 and 4-2 defeats.

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He returned to Kenilworth Road yesterday, still in search of a third international cap, as Jones said: “It’s a little bit strange that he goes away and doesn’t play a minute in the Nations League.

"I don't want to tell Croatia how to do their work, but unless they think that keeper’s going to play every week, it would have been nice for him to get some exposure.

“The positive thing for us is that there’s no chance in him getting injured and he’s come back in pretty much the same position he has been.

"Yes he’s missed a game, but for us, it’s allowed James Shea to play, which could become a theme because we need to make sure that all our squad are up to speed and ready to step in at any moment.”

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Asked whether Sluga’s absence from training could count against him being selected for the season opener at Barnsley tomorrow, especially after James Shea produced such a fine performance in the 3-1 victory over Norwich, Jones added: “In the lead in for the Norwich game, Simon played more games and kept clean sheets in all the minutes he’s played.

“So it’s a little bit frustrating, because it meant he missed things but he's been away with the national squad, so I’d imagine the standard is very good.

"He's in a good place, so it’s swings and roundabouts really.”