Luton chief hadn't wanted to take Brown off

A frustrated Izzy Brown is taken off on Saturday
A frustrated Izzy Brown is taken off on Saturday

Midfielder substituted after an hour of Bluebirds defeat

Luton chief Graeme Jones admitted he hadn’t wanted to take midfielder Izzy Brown off during Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Cardiff City, but did so to protect him against further injury

The Chelsea loanee, who was starting his first game since a hamstring injury against Brentford on November 30, had been Town's main creative force in the first period, with some lovely moments of skill and link-up play.

He was having less of an effect in the second period and looked to be tiring when Jones opted to withdraw him for Luke Berry, as the Hatters threatened far less without Brown on the pitch.

They paid the price too, Lee Tomlin's 73rd minute goal enough for City to triumph, as Jones said: "Izzy was disappointed to come off, but he can't sustain it.

"We’ve got to make sure he stays fit, as he can still get a lot better.

“We’ve got another two games this week and Izzy was frustrated to come off, I don't want to take Izzy off, but you've got to think about the next 15 games and not just one.

"Losing him in the 80th minutes with a hamstring, he’s not ready for that, so that was the reason.”