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Club News


14 December 2017

Town boss Nathan Jones hopes to have a full compliment of strikers available to him this Saturday when his side head to Forest Green Rovers, with Harry Cornick looking likely to return from a hamstring problem.

The summer signing from Bournemouth has been a bright spark in the Hatters' frontline this season, but has missed out on the last three fixtures through injury.

Asked about the squad's fitness at his pre-match press conference at The Brache this lunchtime, Jones explained: "Notts County was just a little bit too soon for him really and we didn't want to rush anyone, especially as he'd had a little bit of a tight hamstring. We didn't want to force anything and the others had been in good form as well.

"A few of my strikers scored in the Checkatrade Trophy game and with James Collins coming back, to put two coming back from injury on the bench – it would have been too much of a risk. But they've had a good week's training, so they're ready.

"You've got Collins, Lee, Cornick, Hylton, they're all in decent form. Neither of my strikers scored in the last game, but before that, Hylton scored, so did Lee. Collins is just coming back. So we've got good options there and we'll see what we need."

Whilst it's good news for Cornick, Scott Cuthbert's injury lay-off will go on a little longer than expected, as he recovers from a groin injury he picked up against Cambridge United in mid-November.

"We're almost full strength," Jones continued. "Obviously Scott Cuthbert and Alan McCormack are the only two really missing, but everyone else, we've got a full squad to choose from.

"Macca's a couple of games away, Scott's a little bit longer than that. He's going to be missing for the medium term which is a blow as he was in good form, but it gives an opportunity for someone else.

"The squad is going to being tested and for the results we got last week, we needed to use the squad and we progressed in two cups. We prepared well for the Notts County game – we didn't win but we had decent energy and we were able to prepare in the best possible way for that and it's important.

"This Christmas period is going to be no different, fixtures come thick and fast over that period and we're going to need everyone."

With the January transfer window now on the horizon, it presents the gaffer with the opportunity to further strengthen his squad, but he doesn't anticipate there will be a lot of movement.

He said: "We've been thinking about January for a long time. We plan well in advance and I don't think it will be masses of business.

"If something comes up and we can improve the squad, like we always say, I imagine the board, they've never said no to me yet, they've backed me. But I don't envisage there being much business."

The New Year also sees the possibility of some players going into the final months of their contracts, Jones explained he and the club have the situation under control.

"We've spoken to the relevant ones in terms of moving forward, but right at the minute, we've got a real good, hungry group and we wouldn't want anyone to add any complacency to anything," said Jones.

"So it's about making sure we maintain what we have and improving on what we have. Then moving from there, we'll make those decisions.

"We know who we want to keep. People that are here know that if they keep producing, then they'll be here for the longer term rather than just for one season, because we're happy with the group, really happy.

"We think that the group is good enough to play at the next level, it's just we've got to make sure we get out of this level first."

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