John Still not fazed by missing first team regulars
With captain Stephen McNulty serving the first game of a four-match ban and Luke Wilkinson struggling with a groin injury, Town boss John Still is counting on the strength in-depth of his squad when Carlisle United are the visitors to Kenilworth Road on Saturday.
The Hatters will also be without the services of Nathan Doyle after the midfielder picked up a knee injury in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with York.
But, as the manager says, “it’s the beauty of the game – suspension and injury gives other people an opportunity”.
Those include defenders Fraser Franks and Alex Lacey and midfielder Matthew Robinson, who could all feature against the Cumbrians at Kenilworth Road on Valentine’s Day.
“It’s always disappointing when for whatever reason you lose influential players, but that’s what you have the squad for,” Still said at his Thursday press conference.
“Other people have got to come in and do the job, and this will actually tell you who can and who can’t do the job, so it’s not fazing me.”
Saturday’s game could be the first time this season that both McNulty and Wilkinson have missed a game together, but the manager isn’t worried and admitted there is no need to dip into the loan market for cover.
“No, we’ve got four centre halves and we’ll go with that, I’m quite comfortable,” said Still.
“We’ll know a bit more about that [Wilkinson] tomorrow [Friday], it’s nothing terrible. People think it’s to do with his hamstring that was a problem, it wasn’t that.
“Something pulled in his groin that left it feeling really, really tight. He’s had some treatment today and will have some treatment tomorrow and he may well be okay but we’ll see.
“I think it was the cup game when we had Fraser and Wilko against Bury and didn’t concede so we’ll be fine.”
Watch the boss’ press conference in full on Hatters Player.