Hatters boss felt changes were justified

Hatter boss Nathan Jones felt his decision to make five changes for the clash against Barnet at Kenilworth Road yesterday was totally justified after the 2-0 victory.

Sunday, 25th March 2018, 10:38 am
Updated Sunday, 25th March 2018, 11:05 am
Nathan Jones and Alan McCormack celebrate Town's 2-0 win over Barnet

The Luton chief was always going to have to make one, with Luke Gambin away on international duty, but he didn’t stop there, bringing in James Shea, Alan McCormack, Olly Lee, James Justin and Andrew Shinnie to the team who had drawn 1-1 at Newport last weekend.

Out went Marek Stech, Elliot Lee, Glen Rea and Jack Stacey to the bench, as Jones said: “According to Iain Dowie on Sky, that’s a big thing, chopping and changing.

“We made changes because the system we play, we felt those were the best available for that.

“We’ve waited a long time to bring Alan McCormack back and I thought he was excellent, but we’ve waited a long time for that.

“I listened to John Coleman (Accrington boss) as well and he’s kept with the same side regularly and he’s been very fortunate, because his big players have not got injured.

“We’ve missed our big players, they’ve got injured, so we wanted to bring our big players back.”

Shea was making his league debut for the club having played five times previously in the Checkatrade Trophy and made a superb save in injury time, flicking Simeon Akinola’s deflected free kick over the bar as Town managed a first shut out in seven games.

Jones continued: “The one I’m delighted for is Sheasy, because he was outstanding today and he’s had to be patient, really, really patient.

"We’ve stuck by Marek through a big period for him, but we felt with the birth of Marek’s child, which we congratulate him for, that it was the right time and Sheasy was excellent.

"It was important we kept a clean sheet as we haven’t done that and it’s not been for the want of trying.”

Meanwhile, on the return of Justin to right back, a position he occupied for the first time since January 13 when Luton were beaten 2-0 at Chesterfield, as his last two starts had come on the left, Jones added: “We’ve got a fantastic squad, so when people are having a dip with energy levels and I don’t think there’s many right backs, or full backs in the division, that put in bigger shifts than Jack Stacey.

"So sometimes they have a dip and we’re fortunate enough to have a strong squad that we can replace that, we can do that.

"I thought he (Justin) was excellent today, I thought everyone who came in was excellent.

"Shinnie, Olly Lee, got on the ball, Olly took time to get on the ball, once he did, he showed a lot of quality, same with Shinnie.

"Alan McCormack was outstanding, Sheasy was brilliant, so everything was justified.

"Suddenly I’m a genius again, I was the worst manager in history 10 hours ago, I’m suddenly now I’m a genius.”