John Still says Barnet striker Jon Nurse's poor challenge on Jonathan Smith affected him and his side

Times Series: Luton boss John Still. Picture: Action Images Luton boss John Still. Picture: Action Images

Luton Town boss John Still says Jon Nurse doesn’t have “a bad bone in his body” but admitted the Barnet striker’s challenge on Jonathan Smith affected him and his side.

The Hatters were 2-0 ahead when Nurse caught Smith with a late challenge. It was an honest attempt to go for the ball from the Bees striker but it left the Luton midfielder with a suspected broken leg.

Still’s side went on to win the game 2-1 but the Luton manager admitted the incident left a “difficult dressing room”.

He told the club’s youtube channel: “Jon Nurse is one of my old players and there is not a bad bone in his body. It was a late challenge without any malice as far as I am concerned.

“But it was a sending off because it was a late challenge. I am not saying there was any intent but it was a late challenge and it was a difficult dressing room at half time.

“It was difficult for me to focus and difficult for the players because that is one of their teammates. I am surprised with myself that it affected me like it did.”

Nurse was booked by referee Robert Whitton before the official changed his decision and showed the Barnet striker a straight red card.

“I don’t know the referee’s view and he can only give what he sees,” Still said. “The fourth official is standing next to us and I think it was him who made it clear to the referee.

“I don’t think he would’ve said anything if the referee didn’t go over to the linesman and ask if he had seen it.

“Once he did that then the fourth official let him know he had seen the incident clearly because he had our view. Once he had spoken to him he realised it was a sending off.”

Still added: “I’m not worried about him (Nurse) being sent off. Jon Nurse is one of my old players and someone I like, regardless of that the sending off I am not bothered about.

“My thoughts are with Jonathan, whether Jon had stayed on or not, as far as I am concerned it is about Jonathan Smith.”

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