Luton Town manager Graeme Jones will have some decisions to make ahead of the Bristol City game next weekend, with his team in danger of being drawn into a relegation battle before the New Year.
Luton were tipped as dark horses in the Championship this season and when they out three past Middlesborough in the opening game of the Football League, they looked like they might be.
But ten games later and Luton are 18th in the table – three points ahead of Reading in the red zone.
Graeme Jones’ side have the second worst defence in the league after shipping twenty goals so far but have scored the same amount of goals as Leeds United (15), in what’s been a differing season for the Hatters so far.
The international break probably came at a good time for Luton. Having won just one in five, a 2-0 defeat at Derby saw them into the two week lay-off, a they’ve the visit of Bristol City next weekend to look forward to.
Here we take a look at three decisions that Jones has to make in that time:
Stick with the diamond?
Jones’ Luton have so far this season lined-up in a diamond formation. The classic 4-1-2-1-2 is what got them into the Championship last season, and Jones felt no need to change what was broken.
But is it broken yet? Luton have been looking progressively worse in matches and Jones may use these two weeks to implement something new on the training ground.
He’ll likely stick with it though, with Luton as yet to sink into a relegation scrum.
Who’s to play in-front of the defence?
With that said, another decision for Jones to make is who he’ll play in-front of his defenders in the midfield diamond.
Ryan Tunnicliffe has often started there, but has also started as the attacking midfielder in the diamond in what’s proving to be a very dynamic midfield-four at Luton.
Andrew Shinnie has also played a few games, and so too has Pelly Ruddock. Jones needs to figure out which option is most viable and which players he;d rather have further up the field.
Should he start Kazenga LuaLua?
Kazenga LuaLua joined the club in September last year and played his part in their title-winning campaign.
This season though he’s been a bit-part figure in Jones’ team, having made just four league starts.
He’s a player that was so sought after as a youngster, but never really settled at a club and now at 28-years-old, isn’t being shown the faith by his manager.
He’s looked sharp when he’s played and offer Luton a completely new outlet with his pace – he should start against Bristol next weekend.