Long and McCourt could return in time for Bees clash

Sean Long
Sean Long

On-loan defender Sean Long and winger Paddy McCourt could well be available for Luton’s home League Two clash against Barnet this weekend despite their international call-ups.

McCourt is part of the Northern Ireland squad who host Latvia in a friendly on Friday night, while Long is in Lithuania for Ireland’s European Championship U21s qualifier.

However, when asked about their availability for Saturday, Hatters boss John Still said: “Sean will be back, he’s coming back Friday, now whether we choose to play him after travelling, we’ll have to wait and see, as is Paddy.”

The fixtures is Long’s last game of his loan spell from Reading, although Still is hoping to prolong his stay at Kenilworth Road, continuing: “We’re hoping to extend it to January, he’s done all right, settled in well.

“We don’t want to push Steve O’Donnell, he’s had a double hernia and is doing light training.

“He’s not out with us at the moment, but he’s come on very well, although it was a no-brainer taking Sean.”

Midfielder duo Nathan Doyle (ankle) and Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu (ankle) are both still missing, with Craig Mackail-Smith (hamstring) doubtful, although Paul Benson (neck) has had no ill effects from his cameo at Crawley Town last weekend.

Still said: “Doyle will be a no, Benno came through okay, so he’s okay now.

“Pelly is on his way. We’ve had a little scan on it because it’s taken a little bit longer than usual.

“When we saw it back on the DVD it was a hell of bash and it was really really swollen. A lot of the swelling has gone now, and they’ve just looked at it with the camera, just to make sure he’s okay, so he can push on.

“I think next week he will really push on as the fitness side of it isn’t an issue. We took our time with him getting him really, really fit, so when he’s injury free fit, he’ll be ready

“Craig is training with Dave Richardson our fitness coach and will probably come in with us next week. He’s close and if it was last game of the season or the FA Cup he could play.”

Meanwhile, Jack Marriott should be fine after Still revealed he had battled sickness during last weekend’s FA Cup tie.

The boss added: “Jack was a bit under the weather still on Monday, but second half of the week he’s decided to give it to me and he’s a lot better.”