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GRAEME JONES GIVES PLAYER UPDATE AHEAD OF BAGGIES FIXTURE

1 February 2020

Hatters boss Graeme Jones has provided a team news update ahead of the Sky Bet Championship fixture against West Brom this afternoon.

Jones was delighted that his team were able to get back to winning ways against Derby County in midweek and has already noticed an increase in belief ahead of the away trip to The Hawthorns.

Speaking on Thursday afternoon, he said: “There is a belief and we need to put that into practice again. That’s where the challenge is and that’s where the responsibility lies.

“Obviously they are still recovering, it’s not the spring in the stride, it’s the spring mentally. You feel like you’re in a better place, there is belief there and I like the way the lads are. Again though, I go back to the Forest game and give us that, so it has been here a little bit of time now.”

Providing updates on his team, the former Baggies assistant boss revealed that Matty Pearson, Sonny Bradley and Ryan Tunnicliffe will be assessed ahead of the game.

“Matty is sore. He’s ended up getting a pocket of blood on the hip which anybody who knows Matty Pearson, there’s only Matty Pearson that could have carried on an extra 25 minutes and get through half-time and stiffen up.

"He’s just an exceptional character but he’s sore with it so we’re assessing him, Sonny and Ryan Tunnicliffe in the next 24 to 48 hours, Tunns took a bit of a whack on his ankle so we will have to see.”

Continuing, Jones spoke about Bradley whom he gave plenty of credit to following Tuesday night’s game.

“Sonny struggled in the warm up, it’s just credit to the lad that he went out and played, I’m telling you that not many people would have went out and played. You know how it is, every phase of play matters and I’m shouting across to him about five times saying Sonny are you okay, 'yeah, I’m okay' he said.

“That’s the type of character that gets you out of the situation we’re in and Sonny has had to fight to get to that level, in terms of that mental strength but he’s there and again we need to measure it. I was so, so proud of what he did on Tuesday night and that gives me great heart going forward.

Town had to be at their best to foil a number of Derby attacks in midweek and the manager praised Simon Sluga for the part he played in the victory.

“I spoke to Simon this morning (Thursday morning), we’ve all got lots of work to do and this is just the start, but sometimes you have to measure the improvement. If you think about where his performance was against Derby at Pride Park where he didn’t really know what was coming his way, the Championship, English football and he was very reactive that day, he was very ahead of the game against Derby in the reverse fixture.

“I thought he was assured as I’ve seen him, and he was more in control of every action and every situation. I said to him that the hard work starts now, you’ve had to work really hard to get to this point, you have to work even harder to stay there and he will because he is that type of focused lad.”


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