Jones: Cup defeat could galvanise Robins

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Hatters boss Nathan Jones has warned his side to be wary of a reaction from Cheltenham Town this afternoon after they were knocked out of the FA Cup by National League side Maidstone United last weekend.

The Robins were beaten 4-2 on home soil in one of the shocks of the round after going into the game with a decent league record at Whaddon Road this term, chalking up five victories.

We know how we can get hurt by Cheltenham, so we’ve worked to combat that and obviously we want to impose ourselves on the game.

Nathan Jones

Jones admitted the cup reverse will only make Town’s task harder now, as he said: “I think it’s not a good time to catch them in terms of that, we would have preferred a Maidstone type performance from them, but I don’t think we’ll get one of those.

“All we can do is prepare us and we don’t tend to be too preoccupied with other people, what we’ve got to do is make sure we’re at it.

“We know how we can get hurt by Cheltenham, so we’ve worked to combat that and obviously we want to impose ourselves on the game.”

Hatters have never won at Cheltenham in their history, with four draws and a defeat and Jones knows it will take a gritty performance to get a first victory today.

He continued: “It’s a very difficult place to go, Cheltenham away is never easy, when I was a player it was a difficult place to go and it will be absolutely no different this weekend,

“It’s as difficult game as we’ve got this month. Last year it was a pleasing point actually, we didn’t play particularly well but had to grind out things, had to defend for our lives, in terms of the numbers they put in the box, the size they have.

“They have a real aerial threat, what we’ve got to make sure is we do what we’re good at and negate their strengths, but it’s a very, very tough game.

“If the weather’s bad down there it’s even tougher. Because I watched a game down there the other day, the weather wasn’t great and because the stands are not as high, it’s an open ground, so it’s a tough place to go and we know that.

“We’ve prepared for that kind of tough, tough game, but we go there in good form, go there in very good form, so we have no fear but we’re also wary of the threat they can impose.”

Jones will also come up against his former boss Gary Johnson, whom he played for when at Yeovil Town during his playing days.

The Town chief added: “He’s very experienced Gary.

“I played under him, worked for him, but he knows the league, knows how to get out this league and knows how to set up a team.

“So it will be a difficult game on all fronts, trust me.”