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NATHAN JONES EXPECTING TO HAVE FULL QUOTA OF PLAYERS AFTER CRAWLEY GAME

12 February 2018

Town boss Nathan Jones is looking forward to having a near-full complement of players at his disposal after tomorrow's game, as he reflected on what he described as a disappointing but fair point picked up against Stevenage on Saturday.

The Hatters took the lead late on at the Lamex Stadium when James Collins converted from the penalty spot having been fouled by Ronnie Henry with five minutes of normal time to go, only for Danny Newton to head in from a corner in the 88th minute.

Jones explained: "I said after [the goal] that we needed to see it out, but it was never going to be a classic because of the conditions. It was windy, but I thought we stuck it out and would have been a real good away performance, because there were no real clear-cut chances in the game.

"We had the better of the first half, we controlled it very well. Every time they put it in our box, when they won the first header it looked like it was going to come to something, but we saw the second ball out.

"That was the clear-cut chance of the game [the penalty] – apart from set-plays we had – and it's definitely a penalty for me and, I've got to be honest, I think it's a red card.

"It will be a very important point and it is an important point, because they all are. I'll be honest, when I made the change and put Lawson D'Ath on, I was happy with the point, because I thought we're not fluent so we'll make sure we're compact, we're defending well, we've got energy.

"Then we nick a goal a bit out of nothing. I wouldn't say we were dominating, we weren't. I'm honest enough to say we would have nicked it, but that's an away performance – they've done it to us, Stevenage, trust me on that. So we would have been happy about that.

"I'm disappointed with how we managed the last six minutes, the injury time and everything, because we went a bit ragged and that's the only problem, because up until then I thought 'No problem' and I thought we slightly edged it.

"Being the away team, the impetus isn't on us. But I thought we moved the ball well on a very difficult surface. It was probably a fair result away, and it will be a good point, I promise you that."

Tomorrow night's game against Crawley Town at Kenilworth Road will come too soon for a number of players, but with the match against Coventry City postponed due to their Emirates FA Cup run, the Hatters will have an 11-day rest from league action.

That will give extra days to a number of first team players return to full training, including Danny Hylton and Elliot Lee.

Jones continued: "We've got the same quota if not more available [from Saturday's game against Stevenage.] We've had a big group training today, we've had numbers, so it's only Hylton and Lee who won't be back for the Crawley game.

"After tomorrow we should have a full quota of players back in terms of McCormack, Cuthbert, Mullins, Potts, Hylton and Elliot Lee. It's a big game for us tomorrow, a big game for Crawley, so we're looking forward to it. The only two we're not able really to call upon will be Elliot Lee and Danny Hylton, but the rest are ready to go.

"If I want to push Scott Cuthbert then I can push him, whether I will or not is another thing. But he's trained with us, trained last week, he's trained fully yesterday and today, so we're happy with the position he's in.

"What we can't do is try and rush someone stupidly and then miss them again, so we'll make the correct decision in what we do, but it's good to have what we have back, and have the competition again."


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