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Watch | Nathan Jones' pre-Stoke City press conference

The gaffer's full press conference is available to watch on iFollow...

18 February 2021

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Manager Nathan Jones confirmed that Tom Lockyer will miss Saturday’s trip to Stoke City after being forced off the pitch due to injury on Tuesday night.

The 26-year-old – who has played the last 15 Sky Bet Championship matches in a row – was unable to shake off an ankle problem in the first period during the 2-0 defeat against Cardiff City and will not play a part this weekend.

However, in the mist of unfortunate news, the gaffer was able to report that Matty Pearson – who also was brought off due to injury – could be available.

“He's struggling a little bit with his ankle, he went over on it and it came up a little bit so he's struggling, whereas Matty Pearson is less.

“He had a tight hamstring, we didn't want to risk him or anything, so we took him off, which was not ideal to lose two centre halves, especially against a team like Cardiff.

“So, we have one with a bit of good news, the other is probably going to be out a little bit longer than the other. We're not going to know until the swelling goes down a little but, he won’t be eligible for Saturday.”

Following victory on the road against Birmingham City last weekend, the manager and his team will be looking to replicate that feat away from home once more.

“Our away record isn’t too bad, so we know that, moving forward, we need to address everything.

“We want to keep moving forward and progressing but we're not going to suddenly turn into the most free-flowing Championship side overnight while still improving in all aspects.

“We have to find ways to improve constantly, week in week out, and push boundaries like we all want to do, but we have to do that steadily and not try to think we’ll be something that we’re not.

“Yes, we want to score more goals, but we also want to continue picking up points and wins as we’ve won two of the last four away games and have gone to some real difficult places to be fair, so we’re not in disastrous form away from home.”

Hatters fans saw January signing Elijah Adebayo for the first time against the Bluebirds and he is someone that has impressed the manager during training and could provide a different option for the remaining 17 matches this season.

“He is something we haven’t got, someone who will gather pace, just about work now as it’s a big step up from League Two to the Championship.

“You see some of the centre halves he would have come up against without being disrespectful in League Two, and then you see when he makes his debut for us the other day and he’s coming up against three absolute giants and experienced at Championship level.

“It’s different, everything's different, so it might take a little bit of time, but he’ll get there, I’ve got no doubt about it.”

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