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GRAEME JONES PROVIDES FITNESS UPDATE AHEAD OF STOKE CITY

Izzy Brown fit but captain Sonny Bradley still unavailable...

29 February 2020

Hatters boss Graeme Jones revealed that Izzy Brown is available for selection ahead of today's Sky Bet Championship fixture against Stoke City, as well as providing an update on the rest of the team.

The Chelsea loanee is fighting fit once again after recovering from illness and is at Jones’ disposal, to which the manager said: “Well Izzy is an important player, I said that from minute one. He gives you something different that we haven’t got in the football club.

"Izzy played 15 minutes at Middlesbrough, Izzy didn’t play against Brentford but what I like about our performances is that we’ve been winning games without him, because that shows the strength of your football club.”

Kazenga LuaLua has missed the last two matches due to injury and the 49-year-old said he will be “very close” with assessments still taking place. Sonny Bradley, however, will be unavailable for the Stoke fixture and will instead target a return for Wigan Athletic next week.

Luke Berry is available and having played the last three games in a row, not missing a minute, the former Belgium assistant manager has not held back in his praise for the midfielder.

“He has given us a great level when we’ve called upon him, that’s what you want to do, you want to add to the group no matter what the circumstances are. Luke has taken full advantage of the opportunity and he took that because he’s making himself ready for when the opportunity comes. That’s the definition of being an exceptional professional for me which no body speaks about, he’s been rewarded for being a really top professional.”    

Jones is particularly pleased that the three-game week ends with a match at Kenilworth Road, something that he explained is the first time it has happened in eight months.

“This is the first time, it’s the 29th of February tomorrow, that we have played a three league game Championship week and our final game is at home. That’s an advantage for us because we haven’t had to travel twice like we did, gone up to Middlesbrough and then we played Fulham and Birmingham, it’s countless. The only time we have been at home is the Cardiff week in August when it was a League Cup game.

“It’s an advantage that we have been able to be in our own beds for four nights from a recovery point of view so again, I’m still assessing that to see how everybody is, see the tactical plan for Stoke and what we need to do, where we are physically, where we are mentally but it’s nice that we’ve had two home games back-to-back now – it’s the first time it has happened in eight months."


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