Cuthbert expect to be fit for Hartlepool trip

Scott Cuthbert
Scott Cuthbert

Town defender Scott Cuthbert should be fit to keep his place in the side for the trip to Hartlepool this weekend.

The summer signing from Leyton Orient was back in the starting line-up for Hatters’ 3-1 win at Morecambe on Tuesday night, before having to come off near the end with what looked to be a recurrence of his ankle injury, but turned out to be purely cramp.

Cuthbert was chosen at right back ahead of another recent acquisition Stephen O’Donnell, who might be absent once more as boss John Still admitted had been nursing a knock recently.

The Luton chief said: “Scott’s trained today, not full out, but he should recover for Saturday.

“Steve O’Donnell has had a little bit of a knock, he hasn’t trained and wasn’t really available (for Morecambe). If we needed to he could have played, but he hasn’t trained again today, he might train tomorrow.

“Regardless of anything else, Scott probably would have played, even if Steve had done very well (against AFC Wimbledon).

“We wanted the extra height in our box on restarts. He’s a very good headerer of the ball and they’re a handful at restarts, so we wanted that in our team.

“Steve travelled with us, we never put him on the bench and I wouldn’t think he’ll be available on Saturday.”

Midfielder Nathan Doyle is back in contention after he came on a substitute during the midweek clash, but despite being a first team regular last term, Still felt he might have to wait his turn with Luton in such good form at the moment.

The boss continued: “Doyley is a good player and we like Doyley, but he’s got to be patient to get his place back.

“Our squad is stronger now. We made a conscious effort to change things this year and we feel now that whoever comes into the team, however many, as I think we’ve shown in the cup competitions, whoever comes in is capable of doing the job we want.

“If you’re not in the team, you’ve got to work hard to get back in the team and also be patient if the person in front of you is doing okay.”

Neither Paul Benson, Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu or Magnus Okuonghae are likely to be considered though as Still added: “Benno’s injury has been rumbling on for a while now, so he’s having an injection in his neck next week.

“Pelly’s been back in full training for just over a week. We’re probably looking at his first game back being Gillingham (on Tuesday night) and that will be a big push for him.

“We’re fortunate we haven’t got to push him, we can do it naturally, which we can with Magnus. We think Magnus playing midweek against Gillingham will put him back where we want him to be, so that is extra competition as well.”