McCourt and Mackail-Smith have big roles to play at Luton

Paddy McCourt in action against Cambridge

Paddy McCourt in action against Cambridge

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Hatters duo Craig Mackail-Smith and Paddy McCourt will both have big parts to play for Luton this season according to Hatters boss Nathan Jones.

The pair, who were with Jones at Brighton last season, where he was first team coach, were left on the bench for the new manager’s first game in charge against Cambridge on Saturday.

“I like Craig, I love Paddy, I like these players, these are good players.”

Nathan Jones

McCourt came on for the final 15 minutes, but with Mark Tyler and Danny Green forced off early due to injuries, it meant Mackail-Smith wasn’t called upon.

However, Jones said: “They’ll have big parts to play as well, I’ve picked a side, I needed certain elements, but I like Craig, I love Paddy, I like these players, these are good players.

“I brought Paddy into Brighton as a Championship player, so don’t worry about that. It was a side we picked to make sure we stopped the rot and picked up something from the game and gives us a start.

“We’ll play a lot more fluent than that in the future, but for now I’m happy with that as commitment-wise, work-rate and attitude, they were excellent.”

Jones admitted it will take him a bit of time to evaluate all of the players he inherited from former manager John Still, after being in charge for less than a fortnight.

He continued: “I know a few of the players as I’ve worked with them, but I’m still finding out about them.

“I’ve been employed nine days, but have had five or six training sessions with them. They’re getting to know me, I’m getting to know them but they’re a real good honest group, that’s all you can ask.

“What we are going to do now is give them a bit of know how and a way of playing and a way of winning games and a way of getting points.

“Today (Saturday) was a start, they gave us everything and I’m pleased with that.”

Jones also conceded that the number of injuries Luton suffered early the game hindered his ability to make the changes he would have liked later on.

The boss added: “I like to make subs but I like to make positive subs in terms of taking us on a level, freshness and so on.

“I wasn’t able to do that, losing your keeper so early, Elliot (Justham) came in and did superbly well. Coming in at that stage, and that manner, I thought he was excellent.

“It was bit frustrating to have to make those enforced changes, with the injuries, maybe it wasn’t what we would have liked, but that’s what the bench is for.”