Team news | Burke could return but ten remain out

Town boss Rob Edwards will once again be without at least ten players as he prepares his team to face Bournemouth in a crunch Premier League fixture at Kenilworth Road on Saturday.


Edwards could have Reece Burke back in contention for a place in the squad after the defender missed Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat at Arsenal.

The manager revealed the player next in line for a return would be Sambi Lokonga, with the on-loan Arsenal midfielder potentially pencilled in for the home game with Brentford on 20th April.

“Sambi’s trying,” said Edwards at his Friday press call. “The likes of Eli and Chieo might be after that, but all the lads are keen to get back as soon as possible.”

Should Burke not make it then the Hatters will once again name 16-year-old Christian Chigozie on the substitutes’ bench.

“He loved the experience at Arsenal,” said the boss. “We spoke to him and he told us he was a Tottenham fan when he was younger, so it was a special moment that he’ll remember for a long, long time. Hopefully it will inspire him and he’ll think ‘I want a bit of that’.”

Despite the disappointments in recent weeks, Edwards praised the way his team have handled the on-going injury crisis.

“Nobody is using it as excuse,” he said. “The players have shown in the past two tough away games – against two big clubs going for big prizes – a lot about their mentality and confidence.”

If selected against the Cherries, Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu will make his 400th appearance in Town colours to become the 11th player in the club’s history to reach that landmark.

“He has to a club legend, for what he’s achieved here,” said Edwards. “He’s a huge part of the club, he’s a special man, special person and special player for this club.

“Whatever we’ve asked for him, he always back you. He understands football is competitive. Whether it’s one minute, ten minutes, 100 minutes or no minutes, he’s equally important and he doesn’t change.

“He’s a leader, brilliant in the dressing room and someone I have huge respect for. It’s a massive achievement which the whole club, he and his family should be proud of.”

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