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Interviews

GRAEME JONES PRE-BRISTOL CITY PRESS

Watch the manager's pre-match Press conference on iFollow

18 October 2019

Hatters boss Graeme Jones has been ‘really pleased’ with the work from his players during the international break but admits the real test will be the game against Bristol City this afternoon.

After a 2-0 defeat against Derby County prior to the two-week break, Town have the opportunity to put things right against the Robins at a sell-out Kenilworth Road.

“I’ve worked them harder!” smiled Jones when asked about his comments after the last international break, when he said he may have worked the players too hard.

“We’ve worked a lot tactically and it (the international break) gives you the opportunity to work a lot of different areas and we have. I’m really pleased with the period of work but ultimately the measure is tomorrow, so we will see if the work is effective or not.”

The manager is particularly pleased with how after 11 league games this season, the availability of players is still consistent.

“We’re strong, Danny Hylton and young Jake Peck are still injured, but that’s it. We’ve got a real healthy group of players to choose from, which I think reflects the work of the coaching staff, the medical staff, sports science staff.

“I don’t want to speak too early because we’re only in October, but you want the availability to be there for you. So far, apart from Martin Cranie and one or two knocks, we’ve had good availability when you consider Glen Rea’s come back from a cruciate and we inherited Danny’s situation a little bit.

“Alan Sheehan’s got himself fully fit now and is training regularly and we’ve had a good period of training with Kazenga LuaLua as well.”

Further elaborating on Glen Rea – who has been out since December with a knee injury – when asked if it could still be a while before seeing the ex-Republic of Ireland Under-21 midfielder back on the pitch, Jones said: “Obviously we are being a bit cautious and making sure because it’s nine months so we don’t want to take any risks.

“The last thing you want is to say he’s fit after seven months, and then he gets injured and it’s back to square one.

“He played in a 60 minute ball-in-play practice match last Thursday and was really, really impressive. He played different positions and coped with it no problem.

“I think he’s a tremendous professional, he looks after himself, he’s got no fat on him and he’s been really impressive.

"But I don’t care who you are, if you’ve been out for nine months, you might be okay for one game because you’re full of adrenaline, but you need a consistent period of training and games in order to become robust to meet the demands of the Championship.”

Striker Hylton has also not made an appearance this season, but Graeme did issue an update on the 30-year-old's injury.

“I think we are looking at the next international break, around about that period. Obviously I’ve inherited that coming into the football club, we’ve had to have another operation which is a bit frustrating because I know Danny is an effective footballer, he scores goals. I haven’t had him available but we’ll see where we are in November.”

Tickets for this afternoon’s match against Bristol City are sold out.

International supporters will be able to stream and follow the game at Kenilworth Road live on iFollow Hatters. Subscribers can also tune into Simon Pitts’ full match commentary as well.


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