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The gaffer assesses his options ahead of trip north to Morecambe

25 September 2017

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Hatters boss Nathan Jones is hopeful that an appeal against Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu’s straight red card in the 1-0 win over Chesterfield on Saturday will be overturned to enable the midfielder to play against Morecambe tomorrow night.

Mpanzu was dismissed in second half of the game at Kenilworth Road for a foul on Andy Kellett, but Jones told the local media at his pre-match Press conference this lunchtime that he hopes to have the 23-year-old available for selection at the Globe Arena.

“We’ll go through the proper channels to appeal it,” said Jones. “We feel it’s not the correct decision in terms of the red card. I spoke to the referee briefly after the game. I’m very respectful of the referee. He’s a good referee, so no problems there.

“It’s just we felt it was the wrong decision. We’ll go down the proper channels and hope that people see sense, but we can’t second guess anyone, so we’ve just got to sit and wait.”

With another midfielder, Luke Berry, already serving a three-match suspension after being charged by the FA with violent conduct after the Wycombe match nine days ago, Jones stressed that discipline is high on his agenda with the Hatters.

Asked whether it would be a shame for Mpanzu to miss three matches when he’s started every game for the Town so far this season, Jones said: “It’s a shame for me and my football club that we’ll miss another players for three games.

“We speak to the players about our discipline and things like that, and even though we don’t think it’s the right one, we’ve got to go through that because Luke Berry’s obviously been banned for it, and we don’t want it to derail us.

“It’s a time when we’ve picked up a few injuries as well, so it’s a frustrating one, it really is, that we have to go down this.

“The second Monday in succession, we’re having contact with the FA and my environment here is of the utmost discipline, so I don’t understand and don’t ever want it to give us a reputation where we are deemed as having no discipline, because this environment here is as disciplined as you will see.”

Jones will assess injuries to Andrew Shinnie, Elliot Lee, Johnny Mullins and Alan McCormack ahead of the trip north.

“We want as many (fit and available) as we can,” said Jones, when asked if McCormack’s availability would be timely should Mpanzu have to serve a ban.

“We go from a week ago, having 20 fit with only Lawson D’Ath – who’s on the comeback trail – having any kind of knock, to a situation now where there’s potentially six or seven who are in threat of being missing.

“So it’s put a strain on us, but thankfully we have a really strong squad and whatever side I put out there will be capable of winning a football game.”

Midfield options have, however, been boosted by the form of two players who haven’t seen much game time so far this season until Saturday.

Luke Gambin came into the starting line-up having scored a brace in the development game at Brentford last week and shone, particularly in the first half before being substituted soon after the hour.

Jordan Cook came on as a substitute midway through the first half when Shinnie was injured, and threaded a perfect ball through the Spireites’ defence for Danny Hylton to net the winner.

“Both did very well,” was the Welshman’s verdict. “I’m pleased with the pair of them. I’m really proud of Jordan because he’s probably taken a little bit more stick than others, whereas Luke has just had to be patient and then when he was introduced, he was fantastic.

“It was only because we just had to change a few personnel at the weekend that we brought him off, otherwise he’d have finished that game.”

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