Blow for Hatters as McCourt will miss Gills and York after NI call-up

Paddy McCourt takes on the Morecambe defence
Paddy McCourt takes on the Morecambe defence

Hatters will be without winger Paddy McCourt for two games next month after he was called up by Northern Ireland for their Euro 2016 qualifiers against Greece and Finland.

The winger has been in excellent form since his return to the starting XI, and gave another performance full of creativity and skill during the 3-1 win at Morecambe on Tuesday night.

“He just sees thing on the pitch other people don’t at this level.”

Luke Wilkinson

He will now miss the Johnstone’s Paint trip to Gillingham on Tuesday and Hatters’ home League Two clash with York City as Luton boss John Still said: “Congratulations to him for the call-up, it’s a blow to us as we’ll miss him for two game.

“When we signed him, we knew the situation though and I think Luton supporters will enjoy watching him.

“Paddy has been terrific since he’s been here, we’ve just got to give him the ball.”

McCourt’s improved fitness is shining through now as his prolonged influence on games is noticeable, setting up Jack Marriott’s last minute strike against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

Still continued: “He’s getting fitter, that’s the key. He’s not as fit as we can get him as going away with Ireland last time he didn’t play, and they don’t train that hard as they’re preparing for games.

“We build up his fitness, loses a bit, so we’ll build it up again. We know he’s a very, very good player and last year, some games we just needed someone to unlock the defence and we know he can do that.”

McCourt was involved heavily in two of Luton’s goals at the Globe Arena in midweek as his corner was headed home by Luke Wilkinson, before another mazy run and half-saved shot saw Cameron McGeehan hammer in front close range.

McGeehan is relishing the chance to play with such a talented individual as he said: “I thought it was some of the best stuff we’ve played all season in the first half and the likes of Paddy McCourt was magic.

“I think I’m gaining a good relationship now with Paddy on the pitch. He’s such a clever player, it’s great to have him here and working off him is getting goals and chances.

“I’m getting a good rapport with him and someone of that experience, he’s teaching a lot of the boys the good parts of his game.”

Meanwhile, Wilkinson was also happy to watch McCourt work his tricks, adding: “You can see he’s quality, a very, very good player.

“He gets things going for us and he’s a danger on the ball.

“He just sees thing on the pitch other people don’t at this level and is doing really well at the minute and hopefully he can keep improving.”