O’Connor a possibility as Luton look to have last laugh against the Minstermen
STRIKER Aaron O’Connor could be fit to play a part against York City tomorrow, writes Mark Wood.
The pacy attacker has missed Luton’s last two games after picking up a knock in the 2-0 defeat at Wrexham, but was due to train today and could come back into contention.
Town have been nursing a number of other knocks, including midfielder Adam Watkins, but they will be boosted by the returns of Jake Howells and Keith Keane from suspension, while giant Hungarian defender Jaons Kovacs has had his ban for his sending off at Darlington on Tuesday night rescinded.
Boss Gary Brabin said: “Aaron hasn’t trained but we are hopeful he is going to train today and will see how he is.” On Watkins, he continued: “He is one of the ones a bit battered and bruised, but he’s run it off and is OK.”
However, the Hatters will definitely be without the cup-tied trio of Craig McAllister, Andre Boucaud and Godfrey Poku.
Twice Town have had to produce fine rearguard actions in their last two games and, with the like of long term injured James Dance, Dan Gleeson and Amari Morgan-Smith still out, Brabin may well have to call on some of Town’s youngsters again.
He said: “We’ve still got the long-term ones, no change there. There’s one or two knocks or bruises that we’re hopeful will be OK for tomorrow’s game.
“We’re certainly delighted we’ve got the lads back from suspension added to the squad.
“It hasn’t been ideal but, like I keep saying, it’s important we’ve got a strong squad and that’s certainly been the case with us this season.
“We’ve had to call on everyone. I was talking to Darlington and they only had three on the bench. I said we had to call young Jake Woolley on to the bench and young Lewis Kidd as well.
“I know we are a million miles apart in terms of where both clubs are at the moment. In terms of bodies, that’s pretty much been what it’s been like for us.”
And after Luton’s last two battling displays in the north, Brabin remains confident they can turn the tie around.
He said: “I think it was important we kept the tie alive with a real spirited performance in the last game.
“I think it’s made it all the more exciting now for both clubs in terms of the next step’s Wembley and it’s a massive game.
“I think certain people haven’t took the competition serious and when you get to this stage all of a sudden a trip to Wembley changes the whole perspective of it and we are looking forward to it.
“We are glad it’s at our place, a good atmosphere and we are looking forward to turning in the type of performance we know we are capable of and hopefully turning the result around.
“I think if you look at both clubs it was a big tie on the Saturday.
“Obviously we’ve had the disappointment of going down to nine men and we’ve had to work a little bit harder than they’ve had to and then we’ve both had important games midweek.
“They’ve had a fantastic one in terms of result (winning 3-2 at Grimsby Town), we’ve not had the result we wanted (a 1-1 draw at Darlington) but there were certainly a lot of pluses to take from it.
“Certainly the last 15 minutes when Janos’s sending off happened, I think that changed the whole perspective of the game.
“Like I said, that was the wrong decision which has been put right now, but we can’t change that last 15 minutes. We’ve just got to build on that now and hopefully change around this result against York after the first leg.”
Despite having been on the end of some indifferent refereeing in recent matches, Brabin asserted Town’s couldn’t spend time worrying about it.
He added: “I think you’ve got to go into the game believing in yourself and not relying on anyone. We can’t rely one what other teams do, what referees do.”
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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