Hatters duo Sluga and Rea could return for Cherries FA Cup trip

Town duo Simon Sluga and Glen Rea could be in contention for the Hatters FA Cup third round trip to Bournemouth tomorrow.

Friday, 3rd January 2020, 10:14 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd January 2020, 10:35 pm
Town keeper Simon Sluga

Sluga earned a recall to the side for the 3-3 draw with Swansea City recently, keeping his place against Fulham on Boxing Day, but suffered a calf injury, as James Shea returned against Bristol City and Millwall.

However, the Croatian international is now back in training, along with Rea, who had missed the entire season until coming on for the second half of the 3-0 defeat to Stoke City last month.

Jones said: “Sluga has trained today and he looks better, so that’s a bonus.

Hatters midfielder Glen Rea

"But we picked up one or two at the weekend that we're going to take with us and assess tomorrow morning, because we have to.

"We haven't got a thick squad, so everybody's travelling and we’ll see where we are.

“I’m still assessing, but Glen's travelling with the group.

"Glen's somebody I like, but I wasn't prepared to gamble with him again in Championship fixtures, so he's somebody I'm considering, definitely.”

After making numerous changes for Town’s Carabao Cup campaign, which saw Luton beat both Ipswich and Cardiff, when asked if he would adopt a similar strategy at the Vitality Stadium, Jones continued: “I’m not sure, we’ve got quite a lot of injuries as well,

“The FA Cup, I know more than anybody, how beautiful it can be, but we’re on the back of four games in whatever its been, this is the fifth game in 14 days.

“I’m sure that Eddie’s (Howe, Bournemouth boss) got the same thing. All of a sudden you’re talking about injuries, talking about second teams, it shouldn’t really be like this,

“It’s such a prestigious cup competition that should be treated properly, but such is the saturation of both leagues, then it throws up that question.

“We’re still assessing people from the Millwall game, and we’ll see where we are tomorrow morning.

“I want to be competitive, that's what I want, to be in the game.

“We had our last training session before the game, we’ll have a look back at the footage, have a look at Bournemouth and then go from there.”

One of those alterations could see Jacob Butterfield return in midfield, as Jones added: “Jacob’s a really, really good footballer, no matter who you are have to hide your deficiencies and show your strengths and Jacob’s in that category without a doubt.

"I’d prefer to concentrate on his strengths which are vision and awareness, his technical ability is outstanding, but you need to be in a moment in the season where you are mentally and physically, and with a good pattern, have the confidence to use Jacob at his best.

"He’s somebody that I’ve got a lot of respect for and someone that I will consider tomorrow definitely."