Hatters boss Nathan Jones admitted he just can’t afford to rest leading scorer Danny Hylton with his side still in the hunt for automatic promotion this term.
The 28-year-old forward has been Luton’s go to man this season, as his equaliser against Exeter City on Saturday was the former Oxford player’s 23rd strike of a prolific campaign.
With only the injured Cameron McGeehan in double figures as well, when asked if he could leave his main source of goals out, Jones said: “You can’t at the minute, it’s not the time.
“We talk about looking after him and taking him off, but he’s so important for us and in such a rich vein of form that even when he’s not as productive as normal, he still does things.
“He’s learning and developing as we’ve shown him stuff today now that he’s done really well on the weekend that we’ve worked on.
“So he still wants to get better and it’s difficult, but we’ve got good competition.”
Even at half time there was soundings about bringing him off but you just can’t do it.Nathan Jones
Jones had been tempted to change Hylton at the weekend as he dropped Isaac Vassell to the bench, with Jack Marriott returning, saying: “Isaac needed a rest, he’s been jaded, so has Danny to be honest with you, but it’s very, very difficult to leave Danny Hylton out of your starting 11.
“Even at half time there was soundings about bringing him off but you just can’t do it. A few needed a rest as they put in big shifts and they work hard.”
Marriott was replaced by Vassell before the hour mark, as Town ended the game with three strikers on, including Ollie Palmer, who had a fine cameo, setting up Hylton’s leveller with 20 minutes to go.
Jones added: “We felt we needed a bit more physicality on the weekend, it wasn’t anything to do with Jack being poor.
“So Olly gave us that, we’ve got Isaac Vassell, Danny Hylton, all vying for places.
“We’ve had to bed Ollie in a little bit, but he’s vying, as is Jack Marriott. Two of them can play (against Newport), so we’ll see what we’ve got.”