Jones demands Town take their second bite of the cherry

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Hatters boss Nathan Jones has urged his side to take their second bite of the cherry when they host Blackpool in the League Two play-off semi-final second leg this evening.

Luton went down 3-2 at Bloomfield Road on Sunday evening, conceding three goals in the league for the first time on their travels. However, they still have every chance of reaching Wembley in the return leg in front of what will be a packed Kenilworth Road, as Jones said: “We can beat anyone, we’ve proven that over the course of the season and we’ve done it against higher league opposition.

That’s the wonderful thing about play-offs, you get two bites of the cherry and this is ours.

Nathan Jones

“I would have liked to be going into the game minimum all square, that isn’t the case, and that’s the wonderful thing about play-offs, you get two bites of the cherry and this is ours.

“It just takes away any variables for us, we have to win the game.

“We’re a positive side anyway, so that’s not alien to us. It’s not like we’re a negative side and are having to go out and nick a result, we’re not, we’re a positive side.”

The Town chief was also preaching patience to both his players and supporters as although Luton know that anything but a win won’t be good enough to progress, Jones won’t be calling for the alamo from the first whistle with just one goal in it.

He said: “There won’t be anything gung ho, won’t be anything stupid in trying to get everything done in the first five or 10 minutes, because it won’t be like that, as it’s a minimum 95 minute game.

“We’ll approach the game as we do every other game. We want to win the game, now if we’re win it 1-0, then the tie’s still alive and we go to extra time.

“It isn’t a disaster if Blackpool score. If Blackpool score the first goal in the 88th minute, then it is a disaster, but if they score early then we have the capacity to score two in a game and trust me I’ve been involved in games where you have to come back from two goals down, it happens.

“They’re strange nights. It’s just who handles the pressure, who takes their chances, who makes less mistakes, all those wonderful things, because it’s a shoot out.

“It’s not you can get a draw, it’s pretty much winner takes all for us and we have to make sure we win the game.”

The Town boss hopes that knowing exactly what his side need to do to reach the final will give his players an extra boost over a Blackpool team aware that a draw is enough.

He continued: “It could be, I’d rather be going in level as we know that a win would take us there, but our approach wouldn’t have changed from 3-0 up.

“We’d have gone to win the game, yes, we might have done things differently during the game, but our approach to every game we play is to win the game, so it won’t change for us.

“We know what we have to do, I hope that it is an advantage, hope it’s detrimental to them, but nothing changes for us.

Jones is expecting to see goals too this evening, as he said: “Both sides have got the firepower to do well, I don’t envisage a 0-0 draw.

“I don’t think they’ll line up that way, but all we can concentrate on is our approach to the game.

“We’ll be approaching the game like we did every single game since we’ve been here and that’s to win it.”