Luton Town play Championship football for the first time in 13 seasons on Friday night, when they entertain Middlesbrough at Kenilworth Road, and their new boss Graeme Jones has confirmed who will play in a key position for them.
The Hatters have been to the depths of despair and back, but after successive promotions, they are a club very much on the up once again, despite the loss of key players James Justin and Jack Stacey in the summer.
Although the Luton boss has made seven new additions to his squad, if you include the return of Kazenga LuaLua who had left only to change his mind and come back again, the Bournemouth right-back is proving a bit of a handful to replace.
Jones took his first official press conference as Hatters manager at Kenilworth Road on Thursday, where he was asked who would play in the exposed position, and confirmed it would be new signing Martin Cranie.
“I am not concerned about the right-back area with Martin Cranie playing there. I think Martin out of everybody looked fatigued on Saturday, maybe it showed a little bit, he is 32 going on 33, but he has been exceptional in pre-season. I have got no worries when it comes to him and performing in that position.” The Hatters’ official website quote him as saying.
The 32-year-old carries plenty of experience with him, and was a part of the Sheffield United side who were promoted from this division last term, but Luton have relied on mobile full-backs bombing down both wings to fit in with their diamond formation, and Cranie might not be able to provide that option, which could be a concern for Luton fans.
Elsewhere, Jones confirmed he has a fully fit squad available which means that Hatters supporters could get to see new signings Ryan Tunnicliffe, Callum McManaman, Simon Sluga, Brendon Galloway and Jacob Butterfield in competitive action for the first time.