Hatters boss Nathan Jones was delighted to see midfielder Lawson D’Ath return for his first action of the season in Tuesday night’s Checkatrade Trophy clash with Barnet.
The 24-year-old has been sidelined by an injury picked up in the week before the opening games of the season against Yeovil.
To be honest, we could have got a bit more, but the plan was for 45 as it’s a long season.Nathan Jones
However, he was back for the match with the Bees that Luton won on penalties, playing the first 45 minutes, replaced by Frankie Musonda at half time.
Jones said: “We were going to give him 30 and bring him on for the last 30 minutes, but we felt with the warm up being first and then playing the game, we could get 45 out of him.
“To be honest, we could have got a bit more, but the plan was for 45 as it’s a long season.
“We don’t want to rush him and then have any kind of setback, so that was one of the positives.”
However, Jones felt fellow midfielder Luke Berry found it tough going on his first action since being retrospectively handed a three match ban after the 2-1 win over Wycombe.
He had the full 90 minutes as Jones continued: “There was probably more temptation to bring him off with his performance rather than saving him for the weekend!
“He looked a little bit rusty, little bit off it, plus he’s still finding his feet at the football club.
“He’s been asked to come in, playing a different role, we play a different way, he’s still finding his feet.”
Berry was alongside James Justin in the midfield areas for the second period, as on the teenager’s switch to a more advanced role, Jones added: “We know he can do both as he played that for the youth team.
“We haven’t really played him much for the first team in that role, but we knew we’ve got the option there if we need it.
“I wanted to do that as I could have left him where he was and brought someone else on, but that was a calculated little gamble for us.
“It’s good we can use these games for that and we’ve shown the competition massive respect, but being able to tinker with certain stuff.
“So I’m disappointed overall with the performance, but I’m pleased with a lot of things that came out as an exercise.”