Nathan Jones: Luton Town boss 'will pay any EFL Trophy fine'

Nathan Jones
Luton boss Nathan Jones has played a number of the club's teenagers in League Two matches this season

Manager Nathan Jones says he will pay any fine Luton Town may have incurred for making 11 changes for Tuesday's EFL Trophy 2-0 win over West Brom.

League One and Two clubs must play a certain number of "first-team" players in the competition.

The Hatters' team for the game included eight players under the age of 21.

"If anyone wants to fine us for that group of youngsters, I'll pay the fine myself, because it would be an absolute disgrace," he told the club website.

Third and fourth-tier clubs must have in their starting line-up the five highest appearance-makers in the team, five players who played the preceding fixture or five who play in the next league match.

Invited sides with Category One academies in the competition, such as Leicester and Chelsea, must start at least six players under the age of 21, but the rest of the squad can come from their first team if they choose.

Luton are also waiting upon the EFL to consider a possible fine for their opening match in the competition against Gillingham until after the group stage.

Speaking to BBC Three Counties Radio, Jones continued: "Premier League sides are allowed to develop their youngsters. I'm telling you, ours are better.

"Why can't we play ours? Anyone who's involved - the EFL, [competition sponsors] Checkatrade, the FA - who wants to fine us, watch the game because you lot could be recognising these [Luton] youngsters sooner than you think."

The EFL recently reiterated the competition revamp is a one-year pilot and said it is "part of the EFL's long-term commitment to help the nation produce more and better homegrown players" and they will "continue to assess the format".

Keeper subbed after poor 'first 45 seconds'

Colin Doyle & Rouven Sattelmaier
Bradford replaced goalkeeper Colin Doyle with Rouven Sattelmaier three minutes into their EFL Trophy win over Bury

It is unusual to see any player subbed off after three minutes without an injury, but Bradford replaced first-choice goalkeeper Colin Doyle with Rouven Sattelmaier that early in their match against Bury.

"He didn't have a particularly good first 45 seconds," Bradford assistant manager Kenny Black joked to BBC Radio Leeds.

"The rules are there, we'd have loved to have played some more young kids but have first-team guys that need games. We adhere to the rules.

"Rouven [Sattelmaier] did very well in the Stoke game so was a little disappointed not to get the full 90 minutes. All we're doing is trying to keep everyone happy."

Sattelmaier helped his side win the Northern Group C game at Valley Parade 2-1 as they made it two wins from two in the competition.

'Invaluable experience for youngsters'

Martin Kuhl
Martin Kuhl's Reading Under-23 side played in front of Portsmouth's lowest attendance since 1945

However, the competition has been backed by Reading's Under-23 manager Martin Kuhl, who saw his side draw 2-2 at Portsmouth before winning the resulting penalty shoot-out.

"People write this competition off, but for us it's invaluable for the experience," Kuhl told BBC Radio Berkshire.

"We've had two games and I don't think we've let the club down or anyone in the Championship.

"We felt a little bit set up during international week when you lose some players, but it's a great experience for the younger lads to come in. They mix with the first-team lads and get a feel of how the first team play and the tempo of the game."

And West Brom assistant head coach Ben Garner, who saw his side lose at Kenilworth Road, says the timing of the game, during the international break, could have been better.

"These games are great. The only shame with the competition is that they've arranged these games when some of our more talented players were away with their country, so they can't feature," he told BBC WM.

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