Increased competition means Justin faces a battle to win his Luton place back

Town defender Jack Stacey
Town defender Jack Stacey

Hatters boss Nathan Jones knows that young full back James Justin faces a real fight to regain his first team shirt from new signing Jack Stacey.

The Reading defender has certainly hit the ground running since arriving in the summer, playing all three of Town’s League Two matches and the Carabao Cup tie too.

The squad is strong and we want the squad strong as we’re going to need that.

Nathan Jones

He impressed once more during Luton’s 3-0 win over Colchester on Saturday, meaning Justin, now fit after a hamstring injury, had to watch on from the bench, as Jones said: “Jack Stacey was absolutely superb, he showed how an attacking full back can play.

“Hopefully the thing that’s pushing him on is the fact we have James Justin back now and looking to get back in.

“So the squad is strong and we want the squad strong as we’re going to need that.”

It’s not just the right back slot that Jones has a selection headache for now, as he added: “We’ve got competition everywhere, both centre halves have got competition, full backs have got competition, Scott Cuthbert to come back, he has to compete as well.

“We’re three games in, 43 games to go and I doubt tha 11 (against Colchester) will play the next 43 games consecutively. If they do, brilliant, but if they don’t we have a squad that can handle it.”

Although the likes of James Collins and Andrew Shinnie have been getting some rave reviews in their performances so far, Jones wanted to look at the whole side’s display, as he added: “It would be wrong to single out those two, Alan Sheehan won every single header, Glen Rea tightened up from last week, Jack Stacey was sublime up and down, Pelly-Ruddock handles the ball, invites people on and drives forward.

“So I think it’s wrong to single those out. The ones who have come in, have bought in to what we do, they came here because they believe that they could do that and they’re showing that. There’s good competition and real good character.”