Jones can't quite believe it as Hylton's calf injury sees Luton lose yet another player just before kick-off

Striker replaced on the bench by young talent

Sunday, 19th September 2021, 8:39 pm
Updated Sunday, 19th September 2021, 8:40 pm
Aidan Francis-Clarke was on the bench for Luton at the weekend

Luton boss Nathan Jones couldn’t quite believe that he had to make yet another late change to his match-day squad ahead of the 3-3 draw with Swansea City on Saturday.

Wednesday night hero Danny Hylton, whose goal at Bristol City earned a point, had been named on the bench for the Championship encounter, only to injure his calf during the warm-up, his place going to youth teamer Aidan Francis-Clarke instead.

It was the third game in a row Jones has had to make an alteration just before kick-off, with Admiral Muskwe and Sonny Bradley dropping out against Blackburn Rovers and Bristol City respectively too.

The Town chief said: “He got injured, I literally sat in my office, he came in, you couldn’t write it.

"The physio tells me he’s done something to his calf, it’s mad, it’s just crazy, you can’t fathom it, absolutely can’t fathom it.”

Although it was good to give a taste of the second tier to Francis-Clarke, who was named the club’s Young Player of the Year last term, the boss would rather have had some more senior options available to him, especially during the second half when City scored three goals to equalise after trailing 3-0 at the break.

He continued: "It’s experience for him, but I would have preferred to have had Fred Onyedinma on there, Admiral Muskwe on there, I’d prefer to have Allan Campbell on there, Amari’i Bell on there.

“Then if I have those on there I bring three on and we have real impetus then, we’ve got real athleticism to come on and still go after them and cause them problems.

“We didn't have that as they are dead on their feet.

“We’ve asked Elijah who’s been ill to do that, asked Harry Cornick, who’s put in mammoth shifts, Cameron Jerome has done two and a half games this week, big shifts for a 35-year-old in the Championship.

“Our midfield have had to do it, Henri’s (Lansbury) had to do it, Bezza’s (Luke Berry) coming back from injury.

"We’ve played someone (Gabe Osho) at left back out of position against possibly their best player, there’s loads of stuff that's happening that we have to look at.

“Today we should have won and taken the points, but there's so much going on at the minute.

"If only we can get through this period, but the games don’t come any easier.”

When asked if there was any news on the return of Campbell and Onyedinma, Jones added: “It’s just ligament damage, a four to six week injury, hopefully they come back a bit quicker, but that's the way it is.

“Amari’i has gone down with I don't actually quite know, but he's gone down with something, so it's adding up all the time.

“Fred, Admiral, Amari’i we miss, Sonny Bradley, it's a big injury list for someone like us

“I've no idea (when they’ll be fit), because I'm not so much worried about getting those back, I’m worried about losing anymore, as literally it’s a freak.

“We normally have a 94 per cent available rate, at the minute that's been decimated because of literally everything.

"Illness, freak muscle injuries, impact injuries, it's something we can't fathom and that’s tough to take.”