Relief for Jones as Luton are almost at full strength for Millwall clash

Town are finally over the injury concerns which blighted first part of the season

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 1:42 pm
Fred Onyedinma is back in training for the Hatters again

Luton boss Nathan Jones will finally have an almost fully fit squad to choose from when Town travel to Millwall this weekend.

The Hatters have been hit by a whole host of injuries in the last month or so, with up to nine players out at one time, Dan Potts, Sonny Bradley, Amari’i Bell, Jordan Clark, Glen Rea, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Luke Berry Allan Campbell, Fred Onyedinma, Admiral Muskwe and Danny Hylton all having stints on the sidelines.

Although Bradley, Bell, Clark, Rea and Berry have all featured recently, following a much-needed international break, Jones confirmed the others had all made good progress towards a long-awaited return.

He said: “It was very good, it allowed us to do some real good work and rest the ones we needed to rest, work the ones we needed to work and get pretty much everyone back.

“So we’re in good shape, it’s been a good couple of weeks.

“One or two are not quite ready, ready if you like, but everyone’s back, everyone’s had good sessions in the two weeks so we’re in a much better place.”

Although Muskwe started and scored for the U21s in their 1-1 draw against Bournemouth U23s on Tuesday afternoon, playing 60 minutes along with midfielder Campbell, Jones insisted that didn’t mean he was any closer than the others to featuring at The Den.

The boss continued: “Not necessarily as we felt whatever they needed to be ready for Saturday that’s what we gave them.

"Some needed games, some needed a little bit more training, some just needed a bit of rhythm, so pretty much everyone’s available, we’re in a good place.”

Defender Tom Lockyer is also back after pulling out of Wales’ World Cup qualifiers this week, with Jones saying: “At regular points with Tom, we have to do certain things, whether that’s a period of rest or an injection, for example, one of those, we gave him an injection.

"We’re in regular contact with Wales and if he wasn’t going to be a big part of what they were doing in the two games then it was OK to pull him out.

“He didn’t train for the first week but he’s eased himself back in and has had Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday back training with us.”

Meanwhile, there was also good news on Fred Onyedinma, who hasn’t played for Luton since the goalless draw with Sheffield United on August 28.

Jones said: “He’s back, we’ve got pretty much a clean bill of health.

"One or two probably won’t be ready for Saturday, in terms of exposing them to a game of the magnitude of Millwall away, but they are ready, they are training and they are ready for when they’re called upon.

“An extra day today and tomorrow, then the weekend, they’ll be even more ready for Tuesday.

"We’re in a decent place in terms of the squad, so we’re happy.”

The only disappointment of the fortnight off was that keeper Simon Sluga, who had initially been left out of the Croatia squad, was a late call-up due to injury, but once again didn’t add to his tally of three caps, remaining an unused substitute in both games.

Jones added: “It’s one of those things.

"We’d earmarked Sluga to have a bit of rest and to go and see family.

"I hope he got to see a bit of his family but he didn’t have the rest.

“It’s a bit of bad luck on his part, but he’s come back in good mental form and that’s all we can do.

"Everyone else has been given opportunities to rest or do the necessary work to get certain things they needed to do, and some to train really hard.

"It’s been a positive two weeks.”