Hatters boss: Players don’t need to force their way back into my thoughts

Kazenga LuaLua could feature against Southend tonight
Kazenga LuaLua could feature against Southend tonight

Luton chief Nathan Jones insists that there aren’t any forgotten men within his squad at the moment.

The Hatters boss is expected to make a raft of changes for tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy clash against Southend United, with the likes of Danny Hylton, Alan Sheehan, Kazenga LuaLua, Lloyd Jones and Dan Potts all potentially getting game time.

It’s not anyone forcing their way back in, it’s just making sure that we’re all at the level and it’s good competition.

Nathan Jones

However, Jones didn’t think they needed to use the game to get to the forefront of his mind when it comes to selecting a team for League One, as he said: “I don’t think it’s forcing their way back in because they’re always in my thoughts.

“It’s just recently with the amount of consecutive wins and form we’re in, we haven’t needed to change it, it’s kind of taken care of itself the team.

“But we take every game on its merits, as on Saturday we could have changed it, because we knew what type of game we would be in for, but they have to learn to win games different ways.

“So it’s not anyone forcing their way back in, it’s just making sure that we’re all at the level and it’s good competition.

“It’s like the top teams, they have to use the squad to compete on all levels.

“Man City might play (Sergio) Aguero in the league, they might play Jesus in the Champions League, but they’re treating the game with exactly the same respect and it’s not that Jesus needs to be in his manager’s thoughts for example.

“With the players we have, it’s just about getting them ready and keeping everyone motivated and competing in the competition that we’re in.

“So they’re always in my thoughts, it’s jut we’ve got with a team and that team is playing well at the minute.

“At any given time, we’re only going to be as strong as our weakest link.

“So we want everyone competing at the level that whatever change we make, it won’t impact on our performance.”

Jones has used his U18s once more during the competition this term, with Josh Neufville, Jake Peck and Connor Tomlinson all getting run-outs this season.

However, on whether any youth teamers will be involved tonight, he added: “We’ll treat this game no different to how we’ve treated every other Checkatrade game.

“We’re proud of our record in the competition, we treat it well, a few have made their debuts and we’ll see where we are.

“For me, people have to earn that, it’s not just sprinkling the youth for the sake of it, peopole have to earn that.

“People who have gone on, have usually earned the opportunity to do that, so that’s all we’re looking to do.

“If they’ve earned it, they’ll be involved and if there’s no-one involved then they probably haven’t earned it.

“We’re a lot stronger than when we went to Peterborough in the last round, we have good people available and hopefully we can get the result we need.”