Ipswich clash can be a benchmark for Hatters

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Coming up against a Championship side will be a good benchmark for Luton’s players to see just how good they are, according to boss Nathan Jones.

The Hatters host Ipswich Town in the Carabao Cup at Kenilworth Road this evening, and Jones was confident his squad would relish the chance to play higher level opposition.

Only when it gets tested, do you know truly how good it is.

Nathan Jones

He said: “We’re looking forward to the game, to testing ourselves again, we like to test ourselves against higher league opposition.

“We preach about certain things in our environment and how we’d like to do stuff and when that gets tested, only when it gets tested, do you know truly how good it is.

“So it will be a wonderful test against a very good side.”

Striker James Collins didn’t feel there was need for his side to feel second best going into the tie either, as he said: “It will be a great game, hopefully it will be a good side and another good test for us.

“There’s no reason to fear anyone, I think all go into the games equal, we’ll just play the way we play and see how we get on.”

Luton have already beaten a Championship side in Jones’ reign at Kenilworth Road, knocking Aston Villa out of the competition at the same stage last year.

The boss said: “We had to play very, very well. We started the game well, had to change certain elements of what we did then we had to react in-game, and thoroughly deserved to win.

“We rode our luck early on, they had one or two opportunities, self inflicted, but then second half we were exhilarating, we really, really were.

“We had a tempo about us, a way of playing, the atmosphere at the stadium especially on a nice, moist pitch, it was a fantastic night for football

“We’d love one of those again, but we know it a totally different test from Villa last year.”

Midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu was looking to replicate the Villa victory though, saying: “Everyone knows what we did against Aston Villa last season so hopefully we can emulate that against Ipswich and get a good run of games.

“The more wins we have the better for us and the morale of the team will be high.”

Although Jones didn’t want this side to be over confident going into the game following their 8-2 stuffing of Yeovil at the weekend, the boss knows that kind of victory can only boost morale.

He added: “I don’t think it ever hinders you going into the game on the back of a good result, unless you get complacent, which my group don’t do.

“They’re a wonderful group to be fair to them and have had enough kicks in the cahonas to not do that.”