Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Ticket News

JONES WANTS TO USE SQUAD DEPTH IN UPCOMING GAMES

28 February 2017

Town have suffered just one defeat in their last 11 matches

Town boss Nathan Jones will be hoping to use the depth of his squad over the next two games as the Hatters deal with a congested fixture period.

After the weekend’s draw at home to Plymouth Argyle, the Hatters face Oxford United tomorrow night in the Checkatrade Trophy semi-final before returning to league action on Saturday at Yeovil Town.

Jones had to make an early change on Saturday against the Pilgrims, as Stephen O’Donnell had to be replaced by James Justin just before kick-off, but the 24-year-old could be in contention to start tomorrow’s match.

“He just felt something in his ankle last week, he tried to play through it but he couldn’t,” Jones explained. “He’s a little bit unfortunate, I don’t like making changes that late, but we had too, it was enforced.

“Thankfully for the squad, we have got back-ups who are quality competition, we don’t class anyone as back-up or anything. So it didn’t hurt us or anything in the end.

“He [O’Donnell] might be involved, it’s just a little bit of soreness. We are going to wait to see if that subsides, but we have got a big week ahead with three games in a week.

“We will mix the squad up for either Wednesday or Saturday, we will see where we are.”

Justin slotted in well after missing out on a string of games as Jones elected to give the 19-year-old a rest from first team duties, but the gaffer was pleased to see him involved as if he had never been away.

The gaffer said: “Fortunately enough he played midweek against Barnet and had 90 minutes, so he probably wasn’t as fresh as he normally is and to go in that late was a big ask.

“He’s a young player but he gets fazed by very little, so I don’t have a problem with that.”

Dan Potts has returned to fitness after picking up a knee injury on New Year’s Eve, with the ex-West Ham United defender available for selection according to Jones

“I’ll consider putting him in now because he’s trained fully for two and a half weeks now. The way we train and the extras he gets, fitness wise it won’t be much of a problem, it’s just whether we consider it right to put him in now or Saturday, or get him a game beforehand.

“He’s a super fit lad anyway, he has played a lot of games this year, so it wouldn’t be too much of a gamble if we did.”

Summer signing Jake Gray has made 21 appearances for the Hatters since his arrival from Crystal Palace in the summer, but hasn’t featured as regularly recently, with Jones putting it down to there being a number of players fighting it out for one position.

“It’s just been competition in the squad,” said Jones. “It’s fierce the competition, it really is. I look for stuff in training, I look for edges and then who we have got, because he is competing with the likes of Pelly-Ruddock who is in fine form, Luke Gambin who we have paid money for, Jordan Cook who is in very good form. It’s what you should thrive on as a footballer.

“So that’s what we are looking for him to do, to give us that reaction that he really wants to play and when he does, to take that opportunity.”

The depth of the squad is being tested once again, as this week the Hatters play three matches in the space of a week.

Jones has Saturday’s match against Yeovil at the back of his mind in terms of the players he selects for Wednesday night’s game, but he won’t be looking at the Glovers until after the final whistle against the U’s.

He said: “We are going to have to use the squad for three games – Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday – and a difficult one away at Yeovil. But we can’t look towards that, what we have to do is concentrate on Wednesday and try and win.

“Come 10:30 on Wednesday night, that’s when we look to Yeovil, so we can’t really second guess anything.

“Again, I reiterate, I have used the squad. Very rarely have we kept the squad the same. When we have we have actually lost games. It’s about using the squad and the quality we have got. I pushed to get those numbers and the type of player we did.”

*To attend tomorrow night’s semi-final at Kenilworth Road will cost just £10 for adults – with an Under-18 going FREE with every paying adult!
 
Tickets are available from the Ticket office in person, over the phone on 01582 416976 and online, which you can access by clicking here.
 
Additional or unaccompanied U18s are priced at £5.
 
Free U18s tickets need to be obtained from the Ticket Office before the match.
 
The LTFC ticket office would like to remind supporters that unlike previous rounds of the Checkatrade Trophy, reserved seating applies for tomorrow night’s game.   
 
Make sure you get down to the Kenny to cheer on the boys as they look to book a place in the 2nd April final against Coventry City at Wembley!

Hatters Player subscribers can watch Nathan Jones' full press conference by clicking here.


Advertisement block