Brown scores just seconds into his return as Hylton also has 45 minutes for Luton

Midfielder Izzy Brown scored for Town during their behind closed doors friendly win
Midfielder Izzy Brown scored for Town during their behind closed doors friendly win

Town’s on-loan Chelsea midfielder Izzy Brown scored just seconds into his return from a serious hamstring injury during Luton’s 2-0 friendly win over Chinese League One side Beijing Renhe at the Brache on Wednesday afternoon

The 22-year-old, who has been missing since tearing his hamstring in the 7-0 defeat at Brentford on November 30, was part of a strong Town side that took the field, Lloyd Jones bagging the other goal.

It also marked the start of Danny Hylton’s comeback too, the forward's last competitive game for Luton coming back in March 2019, as boss Graeme Jones said: “Danny played 45 minutes, so I’m delighted, no reaction.

“Izzy played 25 minutes and no reaction, so that was just really their first steps back on a full pitch and it was lovely to see.

“Izzy Brown scored after 30 seconds, so it was the kind of impact you want.

"They're just still recovering, it was two days ago now, so we’ll so where we are.”

Going into detail into just how Hylton got on in the game, Jones continued: “I think it was last March the last time Danny played, so it’s 10 months and Danny’s put in a massive shift for 45 minutes and covered 7k, it’s huge, I’ve not seen those stats this season.

“He did some good things, I can remember him squaring a ball for Elliot Lee for an opportunity, but the timing at times is what you miss and it’s not going to come back overnight.

“But the positives are that I haven’t had him for the eight months since I took the job, so it was nice to see your centre forward on the pitch.

"Someone that’s had a big impact at this club and somebody that’s had no reaction to his minutes, which is the most important thing.”

With Hylton now back in full time training once more, Jones once again reiterated his feeling that a loan move probably wouldn’t materialise, although still raised doubts as to just how much the former Oxford frontman can aid Town’s battle to survive in the Championship.

He said: “I don’t know, is the truth.

“I need to assess him as a player which I liked the other day and continue to assess his future and how quickly he gets his timing back and what we’re going to do with him from there.

“I don’t think there’d be any benefit to it (a loan move). We want to get him fit here and contribute between now and the end of the season, but we’ll see what happens.”

Although Hylton, Brown and Dan Potts got game-time in the week, there was still no sign of Martin Cranie or Callum McManaman, as Jones said: “No, they didn’t (feature), just the players I mentioned.

“Dan Potts played 60 minutes in the game which was really pleasing, so it was a good exercise.

“We’ve got a period after Nottingham Forest, nine days, I want to try and get everyone fit, that’s the priority.

“I think we’re a competitive team in the Championship, but we haven’t had everybody fit.

“We kept everybody fit until Brentford so the work in terms of intensity in training pitching that correctly was excellent and then at Brentford we lost Brendan Galloway permanently and Izzy Brown.

“A week later we lost Dan Potts, Martin Cranie we lost at Millwall, Callum McManaman we lost at Millwall.

"It's been a period where at Luton Town Football Club, without bringing anybody in, we needed everyone fit and we’re getting close to it.

“I’m not in a position now that I think we can afford to risk it for one game.

"We’re assessing it day on day, see how Izzy is, see how Dan is, see how Danny is, and we’ll take it from there.”

Jones did admit that he might have to arrange another match in the week, with the home game against Derby County on Saturday, January 25, switched to the following Tuesday due to the Rams’ FA Cup involvement.

He added: “That’s the problem really, we’ve got Forest on Sunday, so we have to gauge that and after that we've got nine days until Derby.

"Maybe I’ll have to try and arrange another friendly somewhere in between, to get them some match minutes.

“It might be in house, but obviously there's a lot of lads in the first team who have played a lot of football this year and you don't want to saturate them as in two or three weeks time you're going to have another period coming up with lots of games.

"It’s just pitching it correctly, nothing replaces minutes on the pitch so we'll have to do whatever it takes to get minutes for those two and Martin Cranie.”