Morgan-Smith and O’Connor doubts for Town’s clash with leaders Wrexham
LUTON boss Gary Brabin could be without top scorer Amari Morgan-Smith and Aaron O’Connor for their clash with Blue Square Bet Premier table-toppers Wrexham on Tuesday evening, writes Mike Simmonds.
Both players were taken off during Town’s 5-1 thrashing of Gateshead at the weekend and are struggling for the Kenilworth Road encounter.
Brabin said: “Amari’s back has been a problem for a few weeks and the so-called patching up has taken its toll, as it’s now his hamstring.
“Azza’s has been a bit of a groin and hamstring which he just doesn’t seem to be able to shake off at moment.
“They’re both struggling and we started Amari, but he’s had to come off after 10 minutes (on Saturday), while Aaron’s come on and been fantastic for 55 minutes, then we had to take him off as a precaution.
“I don’t want to go too much in depth about our injuries, but there’s only so much patching up you can before they go one way or the other.
“We’ve still got a bit more assessing and a bit more work to do before we see where we stand with them.”
Defender Ed Asafu-Adjaye is out with a hairline fracture to his foot, while midfielder Alex Lawless hasn’t fully recovered from his broken hand.
Brabin continued: “Ed has a hairline fracture in his foot. We don’t know whether it’s an old injury or a new injury, but it’s come up on the x-ray.
“Alex is a bit disappointing as we were half hoping that after he had his plaster cast off he’d be ready to be in contention, but he’s still in a little of bit pain.
“He’s still in training, but avoiding contact and we’ll see how it goes the next couple of weeks.”
Opponents Wrexham remained four points clear at the top over the weekend after defeating Stockport County 4-0 to win their fourth successive match.
Brabin said: “They’ve done really well. They seem to have really progressed and the new manager has given them a bit of a lift. They’ve had some good results and are up there on merit.”
In charge at the Racecourse Ground is Andy Morrell, after boss Dean Saunders left for Championship side Doncaster Rovers last month.
The Red Dragons have collected 15 points from a possible 18 since the 35-year-old took over and Brabin think the new man has his players flying.
He said: “Andy is doing really well and scored again at the weekend, so he has got some momentum and good results.
“The old manager brought the players in and this manager seems to have given them a bit of a lift and got the best out of them.
“They’ve still got a strong squad of players. There’s a few battles behind the scenes about who’s taking over the club, but they haven’t lost any quality players.
“They’ve been able to keep hold of all the players they wanted to keep hold of and added one or two. They’re a stronger side than last year and certainly up there on merit.”
Although Hatters knocked Wrexham out of the play-offs last season, beating them home and away, Brabin doesn’t think that will have any relevance going into this encounter.
He added: “I think that’s in the past now. It’s gone and we’ve got to look forward.
“We’ve got to recover from Saturday and hopefully have a strong squad to choose from on Tuesday.”
Defeat by the Welsh side would drop Luton to eight points behind their opponents, but although Brabin has intimated on a number of occasions his willingness to remain in the chasing pack, victory is the only thing on his mind.
He added: “I want us to win every single game. We want to win the game and we’ll be going out to win the game.
“There’s a bit more pressure on the fact that Wrexham are at the top, but we try to go into every game with the same attitude.
“We got the win Saturday so it’s important we build on that and try to get back to back wins.”
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