Manager Nathan Jones spoke ahead of the visit of Grimsby Town
Grimsby make the 150 mile trip south on Saturday to Kenilworth Road, for a match that Hatters boss Nathan Jones has labelled ‘a really difficult game’.
Glen Rea has returned from international duty, whilst Alan Sheehan has made his long awaited training comeback from a calf injury.
With there being very few injuries at the start of the campaign, Jones has been able to pick a similar squad for each game, something he has found to be a bonus at this early stage.
He said: “Injury wise we haven’t had anyone out for a long-time, so in that respect he have had a little bit of continuity. At the same time a lot of people have got game time, it’s kept the squad competitive which is a real plus point for us.”
That competitiveness within the squad has been boosted by the talented youngsters coming through the Hatters academy under the tutelage of Andy Awford and Paul Driver.
A number of the younger Hatters have made their debuts this season and got quite a few first team minutes under their belt, a point that has really pleased Jones so far this term.
Jones continued: “There was a good squad here when I arrived, it was too big, but we have managed to trim that, plus a lot of the younger players have stepped up.
“They haven’t overachieved, but they have surprised us in terms of how quick their development has been and that has been a massive positive.”
As a result of this, some players haven’t featured as regularly as they did last season. It doesn’t seem to have affected the team though, as Jones said he believes his honesty with the squad has kept the balance right in the dressing room.
He said: “I speak to my players regularly so I have got a good relationship with them.
“There’s nothing personal in the sides I pick, I pick a side that I think can win the game. I just try and be honest when I tell a player that they aren’t playing. There’s tough decisions to be made in life, at least if
you’re honest hopefully people can respect that.
“I want honest players and to get that I have to lead by example.”
The visiting Mariners have begun to settle into life in League Two as they sit in 14th place after promotion from the National League last season.
In their league match before last weeks 2-2 draw with Notts County, Grimsby ran out 5-2 winners against Stevenage, striker Omar Bogle netting a hat-trick. The 23-year-old as he now sits joint top of the League scoring charts alongside Danny Hylton.
Jones said: “I think they are finding their feet at this level now, they have a good squad and a great structure in terms of the way they play, it will be a really difficult game.”
Tickets are still available for purchase online, or from the Ticket Office outside the Kenilworth Stand.