Justin not frustrated over his lack of first team football

Luton Town defender James Justin started for the England U20s
Luton Town defender James Justin started for the England U20s

Hatters defender James Justin is yet to get frustrated by his lack of first team football at Kenilworth Road this season according to boss Nathan Jones.

The 19-year-old hasn’t featured at all in Luton’s League Two campaign so far, after making 31 appearances last term, restricted to one half in the Checkatrade Trophy so far.

He played in the Brentford game the other day and wasn’t as sharp as he normally is because he’s finding his feet, so we’ve just got to get them there safely.

Nathan Jones

It has caused him to lose his place in the England U20s squad announced today as well, but Jones insists there have been no issues from his young charge, saying: “No, because it’s not like we’re not playing him, we’re leaving him out, it’s not been like that.

“We’ve had to patient with him because of what happened in the summer (injury with England).

“He’s finding his feet, he played in the Brentford game the other day and wasn’t as sharp as he normally is because he’s finding his feet, so we’ve just got to get them there safely.”

Jones admitted it has been tough for the teenager to get back to the levels he was at last season due to the knock picked up on international duty in the summer.

He continued: “The big thing now is about getting James Justin up to speed, because it’s been a real disjointed start for him.

“He hasn’t had a proper pre-season, getting injured with England and then coming back, so he missed the whole of pre-season.

“The first game he had was the Tottenham game, then he went away again with England, so it’s been really disjointed for him.

“What we have to do is get James right up to speed, as if we get him up to speed then we have two excellent ones and over the next couple of weeks will give us the opportunity to get him up to speed.”

In Justin’s place has been summer signing Jack Stacey, who has impressed throughout the opening 10 games of the season.

With the former Reading youngster able to play in midfield too, Jones admitted there was a chance he could feature, adding: “He has played there, he was probably thought of as a midfield player, as Exeter played him as a midfield player, but mostly as a right back last year, and that’s where I’ve always seen him.

“Now, I definitely feel he’s a good enough footballer, a good enough athlete, and he would give us something different if we were to push him up, so that’s always an option.”