McCormack is a doubt for Gills clash

Midfielder Alan McCormack has been rated as doubtful for this weekend’s home clash against Gillingham this weekend by Town boss Mick Harford.

Thursday, 14th March 2019, 2:12 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th March 2019, 2:16 pm
Hatters midfielder Alan McCormack

The 35-year-old went off after half an hour of the 1-0 win over Bradford City on Tuesday night with a hamstring injury, and although it shouldn’t keep him out for too long, Saturday might just come too soon for him.

Harford said: “We've assessed him this morning, he seems okay, we'll see how he is tomorrow.

“He just had a little strain at the back of his leg, so he's improving, but we're not sure whether he’ll be available for the weekend.”

Since replacing the injured Glen Rea in the side, McCormack has started the last 12 league games, producing some excellent displays, quickly becoming a vital cog in Luton’s unbeaten run.

Harford continued: “He’s a seasoned pro, he knows the position inside out, he does it well.

“Not only does he sit at the base of the diamond, he can rotate well and he's happy to go forward like he did against Fleetwood when basically he got the free kick when George Moncur put us ahead.

“So he’s pivotal in that position, but that’s why we bolstered the squad when we did, in terms of we knew we’d either have injuries or suspensions.

“The squad is strong enough to deal with a couple of injuries and whatever happens, so if things need to be changed, we’ll change them positively.”

With McCormack replaced by Luke Berry at the Coral Windows Stadium, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu took over at the base of the diamond, giving a disciplined and assured performance.

Harford said: “Pelly’s played that role before and he knows, all the midfield players know their roles, know their jobs.

“So if Pelly’s needed to play in there, then we’ve got to have the utmost confidence for him to go into that position.”

On-loan Derby County midfielder George Thorne is also in with a shout of starting, having been restricted to just two substitute appearances since joining in January.

It’s been the same for deadline day arrivals Jason Cummings and Alex Baptiste, with only the former seeing any action, that a brief cameo against Wycombe Wanderers last month.

But Harford insisted they are all still a big part of his plans, adding: “The hardest part of my job at times is picking the bench.

“We picked accordingly, we pick people for the team we’re playing against, we call them the game changers and every member of that squad is important to us 100 per cent.

"They’ve been very professional, Alex Baptiste is an ultimate professional, George Thorne has been fantastic, Jason Cummings as well.

“They understand the reason why we do it, they know their opportunity will come and when their opportunity does come they’ve got to take it with both hands.”