Nathan Jones has confirmed that Luton midfielder Jordan Clark is conscious following his nasty collision with West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone during the Baggies’ 3-2 win at the Hawthorns.
Clark and Johnstone collided in an aerial challenge for the ball on the edge of the keeper’s penalty area in the 51st minute of an entertaining encounter, and he required on-field medical treatment for more than 10 minutes.
It led to 16 minutes being added on at the end of the match and set up a tense finish, after Harry Cornick and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu reduced the three-goal gap that West Brom had opened up.
Most importantly, though, Clark is responsive and is receiving treatment in a nearby hospital, Jones revealed, while he attached no blame to Johnstone.
“He’s recovering and he’s conscious, so that’s the good thing. It’s a concussion injury, he’s too brave for his own good really,” Jones explained. “That’s the boy he is.
“It’s disappointing to have lost him but the main thing is he’s OK. No (blame attached to Johnstone) – the way keepers protect themselves, you’re always liable to get hurt.
“He was just unfortunate, the ball was almost perfect. It’s one of those things.”
West Brom boss Valerien Ismael also spoke of his relief that Clark was on the mend, as he assessed his first victory in charge.
A Kal Naismith own goal after five minutes handed his side the perfect start, and they doubled their lead before half-time through Callum Robinson.
Forward Karlan Grant added a third after the lengthy stoppage due to Clark’s injury, and that seemed to have taken Albion out of the reach of their visitors, before Luton’s spirited fight-back.
“We were under control,” said Ismael. “We started really strong and we saw the power from the crowd, combined with our way to play. We dominated our situations on the pitch, we should have scored more goals in the first half.
“In the second half we came out strong and we scored the third goal, the intensity was good and then came the injury. It was another 15-minute break, it killed our legs and our rhythm.
“Then we made a mistake, after that it was another game. They then changed completely their way of playing, there was more fight, and you need to embrace the fight. We struggled with this.
“At the end of the day, it was important to win the game because it was difficult at the end. We learned from our guys in certain situations and we can do better. The first hour before the injury break was simply brilliant and this is what we want to see from West Brom.”
Jones, meanwhile, bemoaned his side’s defending at the beginning of the game, against a side who he expects to be competing for promotion at the end of this season.
“Everybody knew about Barnsley (Ismael’s former club) last year and the way West Brom are going to play, and fair play to them,” Jones added. “We needed to be a little bit braver, but we didn’t do the basics right. We got punished and we were chasing the game from 3-0 down.
“They should go up, they’re well equipped for the Championship. They’re people who work very hard to get back to the Premier League, because they’ve got that type of squad. They’ll be hard to beat here.”
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