Luton’s defensive crisis ahead of Newcastle clash

Luton Town manager Nathan Jones.
Luton Town manager Nathan Jones.

Luton Town face a defensive crisis ahead of their FA Cup clash with Newcastle United.

Hatters boss Nathan Jones has seen his options at centre half hit by Alan Sheehan’s three-game ban after getting sent off against Lincoln City on Monday, plus an injury to captain Scott Cuthbert. which is expected to keep him out for another four weeks.

Johnny Mullins is the only senior defender available in that position, although Jones does have Glen Rea, Akin Famewo and Frankie Musonda available to him as well.

Jones insists he still has options for the game against the Premier League side, and believes his squad is strong enough to cope with the absences.

He said: “We moved Rea back in the other day (against Lincoln) and he did fantastically well, so we have options.

“We’ve got young Akin who can play who might need to be tested and we’ve got the option of bringing someone in, so there’s lots of things we can do.

“But we won’t worry about that, we know we have a strong squad here and we’ve been harping on about that for a while, so it’s good that they get tested.”

Jones, however, hasn’t ruled out trying to sign a new defender before the cup clash.

He added: “We’re considering all things, we don’t need too much, but if the opportunity comes for us to strengthen our squad, then we want to do that.

“We constantly keep saying that we want to keep moving forward, every single window we want to keep moving forward and what we won’t do now is rest on our laurels and think we’re top of the league, we’re in a good place.”

Highly-rated Jones – linked with the Sunderland job after Simon Grayson’s sacking – has led Luton to the top of League Two, and signed a new four-year contract this week.