Luton chief hopes injury list is easing

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Hatters boss Nathan Jones is hopeful that his side’s injury list will have eased somewhat for Saturday’s home clash against Newport County.

The Town chief had seven players absent for Tuesday night’s trip to Morecambe, with Alan McCormack, Andrew Shinnie, Johnny Mullins, Elliot Lee, Lawson D’Ath, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu and Luke Berry all missing

That’s seven we’ve got out though, there’s some real, real quality there and some big players for us or for any side at this level.

Nathan Jones

Although Berry and Mpanzu are still out due to suspension, when asked if the others would feature, Jones said: “We’re hoping so.

“We’re training a bit later today, to give them a little bit more rest, so we’re trying to get as many as we can back.

“We’ll have to wait and see, only time will tell, we’ve got another 48 hours or so before the game, so we’re hoping we get a couple back.

“It’s little things, Shinnie’s rolled his ankle, so it’s just how quick that heels.

“The others are soft tissue ones really that we’re hopeful we get back very, very soon as the games keep coming.”

Jones didn’t have any fresh concerns from the players who took to the field for the goalless draw at the Globe Arena in midweek, saying: “We got back early Wednesday morning and then they’ve had Wednesday to recover.

“We’re training them later today, but we’ve got to look after them in the days in between and they’ll be ready to go on Saturday.”

The Luton boss has often spoken of the strength in depth he possesses at Kenilworth Road, and now knows the players available have to prove it.

He continued: “The squad is getting tested now.

“If the players needed reiterating, the board have been fantastic in terms of the squad we need, but if you want to stay at the level for a minimum of 46 games, plus obviously you’ve got cup games as well, you need a strong squad and we have.

“That’s seven we’ve got out though, there’s some real, real quality there and some big players for us or for any side at this level.”

One thing that Jones has demanded is that Town’s players make sure they are as honest as possible with the medical staff at the club, to prevent picking up any unnecessary injuries.

He added: “All you can do is make decisions on the data you have.

“We do a lot on GPS and questionnaires, so what we ask them to do is be honest with certain things.

“If they come in and say ‘I’m stiff or I’m tired, we can monitor their loads.

“Or someone doing big, big distances, like the Jack Stacey’s and Danny Hylton’s and (Harry) Cornick’s do, big, big distances on a regular basis.

“You have to look after those in training, because otherwise they’ll keep running and then fatigue will lead to injury.

“We believe we’ve got a good environment and a good process. We can’t curb everything, we try to only sign athletes, if you sign someone that’s not used to working hard then they’re going to break down.

“So that’s what we try not to do. We try to recruit good athletes anyway, with the environment and process we use, we try to keep them fit as long as we can.”