Brabin unlikely to add loan defender ahead of Harriers clash

HATTERS boss Gary Brabin is unlikely raid the loan market in the absence of Jake Howells for Town’s next two matches, writes Mike Simmonds.

The 20-year-old misses tomorrow’s trip to Kidderminster Harriers and Tuesday night’s clash at Ebbsfleet after earning a call up for the Wales U21 squad for their U21 European Championships clash with Montenegro and Czech Republic.

Brabin admitted has had tried to bring in a specialist left back as Freddie Murray remains on the injured list, while youngster JJ O’Donnell is on loan at Cambridge City, but couldn’t find what he was looking for.

He said: “We’ve considered it. We’ve got a player identification that are people we look at for certain situations.

“We’ve enquired about a couple of options which for one reason or another, whether it never suited us or suited the other team, it might be the case that it’s too late now to bring someone in.

“It might be a case of playing someone out of position.”

Ed Asafu-Adjaye played on the left side of defence in the latter stages of last season, but is out after injuring his ankle in the midweek friendly against St Neots.

It might be that the fit-again Curtis Osano swaps over from his right back slot, but Brabin wasn’t giving anything away.

He continued: “Ed had a knock on his foot, so he is struggling a bit and hasn’t trained.

“There’s a lot of options. We have the option of Curtis at left back. It could be that we juggle a few players around, but we don’t really want to do that. It would be nice if we could start playing players in their best positions.”

Regarding Hatters’ well publicised penalty problems, after missing the side’s fourth consecutive spot kick against Barrow last week, winger Robbie Willmott mentioned the players would have a shoot out in training to decide who would take the next one.

That doesn’t appear to have happened though and Brabin believes if awarded one on Saturday, whoever feels most confident will step up.

He said: “I keep saying, if you watch training, our lads are so confident taking penalties, and always want to take penalties.

“We practice penalties more than any other team, at the moment there is a little bit of a stigma attached to the penalties for us.

“Danny Crow is fantastic at them, but it’s something that as management team we’re trying to not make a big issue out of it and take some of the pressure off.

“Whether they’re a little bit nervous at the situation, as when you’re on there, there’s fans behind the goal, chanting, and there is pressure.

“I’d rather have the same person taking it all the time. We have got our main penalty takers and in some of those games, our main penalty takers haven’t been on the pitch, so it’s something we are aware of but I know we’ll come good on them.”

Striker Stuart Fleetwood should be fit for the clash at Aggborough after missing the weekend’s victory over Barrow, but Brabin knows just how difficult an opposition Harriers will be on home soil, having only lost once there all season.

He said: “They’re a good side, they’re up there, they’re always in and around the top six or seven.

“We respect all the opposition we play and we know where they are in the league.

“They’ve had some good performances. They’ve signed some good players, but our main concern is trying to get our best 11 out.”

Victory could see Luton rise to fourth in the table, but Brabin isn’t fussed about positions at this current juncture.

He added: “At moment I’m not too eager to be top of the league. We want to get all our players fit and available and then we’ll go from strength to strength and start whipping the horse around January/February.”

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