Still urges Franks and Lacey to secure their futures

Fraser Franks
Fraser Franks

Hatters boss John Still has challenged the likes of Fraser Franks and Alex Lacey to prove they can be part of his plans to move forward.

The centre half pairing will continue their partnership at the heart of Town’s defence in the absence of Steve McNulty and Luke Wilkinson against AFC Wimbledon this afternoon.

With Luton hoping to make it back to back promotions this season, Still now needs to work out which players could make the step up to a higher level.

He said: “What I have to know and they have to know is how people cope in certain situations,

“Both of those players want to be first team players in a team they hope is going to be playing in Division One next year.

“Well now’s their chance to show me they can do that. Will they show me they can do it? I really, really hope so.

“They’re two great lads, have great attitudes, train properly, but like everyone they have to show they’re up for the job.

“They could have gone through this season without the opportunity to show that, and when it comes for me to make a decision, I might not have seen enough.

“I’m not happy I’ve got players missing, but I’m almost pleased these people are going to have have the opportunity to show they can do the job.

“At the end of the season you have to make decisions on players, I have to make my mind on whether these players can be part of a group to carry us forward.

“In the time I’ve been here, we’ve made unbelievable strides, we’ve got to continue making those strides, and unfortunately there’s casualties, that’s football, I understand that.”

Although Town still have a lengthy injury list including the likes of Nathan Doyle, Paul Benson, Alex Lawless and Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu, along with both first choice centre halves suspended, Still wasn’t looking to make any excuses about their run of one win in four games.

He added: “When I look at who couldn’t play (against Mansfield), I wouldn’t want to do the others lads a disservice.

“They’re all decent players, may be less experienced and younger, but the two centre halves who came in did okay, Matt Robinson, although we changed at half time, did okay.

“The only thing we did wrong as far as I’m concerned, we made a mistake that we don’t usually make for the goal and they hung on for it.

“We never had that final pass, final cross, final finish.

“What clubs at any level if you’re looking like for like, with no McNulty, no Wilkinson, no Guttridge, no Doyle, no Lawless, no Ruddock, would be able to even go as close as we did on the night? Not many.”