Luton chief will look to use his squad against Newport during ‘stupid month’ for the Hatters
Luton chief Nathan Jones will definitely rotate his squad for tonight’s Carabao Cup first round tie against Newport County during what he labelled was a ‘stupid month’ for the Hatters.
Town kicked off their Championship campaign at home to Birmingham City over a week ago, before drawing 1-1 with Burnley on Saturday.
That was all fine, but with the World Cup taking place in December this year, it has led to a congested opening period for the second tier sides, Luton feeling it more than most.
After tonight’s cup tie, they then host Preston on Saturday, before away trips to Bristol City and Swansea in the space of five days, with a potential second round tie squeezed in ahead of entertaining Sheffield United and then going to Cardiff City, also in midweek.
When asked if that meant he would look to swap things around this evening, Jones said: “We have to.
“It’s a crazy month, it’s a bonkers month, it’s a stupid month really.
“Eight games minimum, could be nine and away journeys, we’re literally travelling everywhere, so we’re going to have to use the squad, but we’ve got a squad.
“We’ve left people behind today (Saturday) so they could play, they’ll be fresh and fit.
“I want us to be really aggressive on Tuesday night and it’s a chance for people to stake a claim as well.
“We’re in a good position squad wise, only Alfie (Doughty), Pelly (Mpanzu) and Fred (Onyedinma) that are yet to come back in and hopefully they’ll be back sooner rather than later, so we’re in a decent position.”
With youngsters like Casey Pettit and Josh Williams both featuring for the Hatters during their pre-season matches, Avan Jones too, on whether he might look to use some of the Development squad in the match against an Exiles side who have begun their League Two season by drawing at Sutton United and losing to Walsall, Jones continued: “We’ll see, we’ve got a good squad.
“Reece Burke needs minutes, Tom Lockyer needs minutes, Luke Berry needs minutes, Henri Lansbury needs minutes.
“So we’ve got a strong enough team and it’s an opportunity for them to do well and stake a claim.”
Defender Dan Potts, who has played every minute of Luton’s first two matches of the season, believes that the squad can cope with what the schedule in place due to their efforts from the previous season, which saw them reach the play-offs.
He added: “Someone said last year, it worked out as a game every 4.5 days and now it’s 3.8 after a certain time.
“But we’re built for it now, I think last year has put is in good stead, so bring it on.
“Everyone’s used to it, nothing’s new in this league, so we’ll cherish it and do what we need to do.”