Bradley back as Jones finally has options going into Cardiff clash

Brendan Galloway the only absentee for Luton

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 4:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th February 2020, 4:13 pm
Sonny Bradley is back in training after missing last weekend's trip to West Bromwich Albion

Town boss Graeme Jones has got plenty of options for this weekend’s home match against Cardiff after captain Sonny Bradley returned to training this week.

The centre half missed last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion, but is available to face the Bluebirds at Kenilworth Road in a crunch clash for the hosts.

Speaking to the press this afternoon, Jones said: “He’s joined in today, so lots of numbers, apart from Brendan Galloway, we’ve got a fully fit squad.

“It’s the first time since Brentford at the end of November, so we’re talking 10 weeks.

"I’m delighted because we’re going into a three game week and for me it's the first time we’ve got choice to be competitive in three games, so that's exciting.

“It just gives me different problems now, you can only pick 11 and pick 18, but that's what I've wanted all season and it’s good to be in that position.”

In Bradley’s absence, Donervon Daniels partnered Matty Pearson at the Hawthorns, scoring an own goal against his former club, and then being replaced by transfer window addition Cameron Carter-Vickers.

When asked how the Spurs centre half has looked in training this week, Jones continued: “I’ve been pleased so far, I like what I’ve seen in training.

“He's been good, he's a rock, and I mean a rock. He's a big old unit, he's got that resistance and that resilience that we needed, that we've been looking for.

“I’ve seen improvement in Sonny and Matty in recent weeks, Martin’s (Cranie) getting there, all of a sudden you've got some good options.”

Jones needs all of those options available to him as well ahead of home games against Cardiff City on Saturday and Sheffield Wednesday in midweek, before the following weekend’s trip to Middlesbrough.

So far, the Hatters haven’t performed well in weeks where they have had to play three games, but Jones thinks they are well stocked to cope with such a proposition now.

He said: “The three game weeks everybody knows have been really, really demanding and pre-transfer window, I don't think we’ve dealt with them very well.

“We’ve learned a lot of lessons and we’re going to attempt this three game week in a slightly different way.”

On what that different way might be though, Jones said: “I need to keep that to myself, I don't want to give anything away.

"I'm assessing every game with our strongest opportunity to win and it starts on Saturday.

"I've got a grand plan, but you know football, there’s variables that always affect that, so we'll see where we are game by game.”

Midfielder Izzy Brown is another who could put himself into contention to start his first game since November on Saturday, after making two substitute appearances against Derby County and the Baggies.

Jones was keeping any news of selection under his hat though, saying: “He’s got to see if he’s in the 18 first!

“Honestly we’re working towards the game and I don't really want to give anything away.”

One player who is definitely absent though is new signing Eunan O’Kane, with the Leeds United midfielder going through a period of rehabilitation after his horrific double leg break suffered during his first spell at Luton in September 2018.

Jones added: “We've got to build him up, he hasn't come out on the grass.

"We signed Eunan under those circumstances, we knew we had to strip him back a little bit, go back to basics with a long term project, that's why it was an 18 month arrangement.

"But I like the lad, obviously I see the player, he's a very, very good footballer, we just need to make sure we get him functionally right, before he steps out on that pitch.

"Because if we don't he'll be back in the physio room before you can blink.”