Jones relishing a ‘fantastic’ Kenilworth Road atmosphere when Pompey are in town

Luton boss Nathan Jones
Luton boss Nathan Jones

Hatters boss Nathan Jones is relishing the prospect of leading his side in what could be near to a sell-out crowd at Kenilworth Road tomorrow evening against Portsmouth.

With Pompey expected to sell their full away allocation, it should swell the overall attendance to around 10,000 on the night.

I envisage a fantastic atmosphere and what we want to do is give them a performance they can get right behind.

Nathan Jones

When asked just how vital the home support will be, Jones said: “We’re all really looking forward to the game and I imagine the crowd are too.

“They’ve been superb for us home and away and we’re going to need them.

“It should be the biggest crowd I’ve managed in at home with Luton, with the away end full.

“We had a good crowd when we played Cambridge in my first game and this will be slightly bigger than that.

“The players have to handle that and we are handling the home atmosphere, we’re handling any atmosphere we get away from home too.

“I envisage a fantastic atmosphere and what we want to do is give them a performance they can get right behind.

“So we’re looking forward to a good night, it’s another game, but a game we want to win.”

On the threat of Pompey, who Luton leapfrogged at the weekend after winning at Morecambe, with the south coast club held by Cheltenham, Jones continued: “They’re a good side, they’ve been together a long time.

“Paul Cook has had them and had a crack at it last year. They just fell short slightly, they’ve added quality to the side, so they’ve improved since last year.

“It’s a good squad, they’re a good side, one of the favourites. They have similar pressures to us in terms of playing, it’s a game we’re looking forward to, it’s a stern test, but so are we.”

Pompey will be without the suspended Connor Chaplin for the game, although do possess one of the division’s stand-out players in leading scorer Gary Roberts.

Jones preferred not to go into detail on who he felt were the biggest threats for the visitors though, saying: “They have them right throughout the squad, that’s the strength of the squad they’ve got and that’s what we’re coming up against.

“So it would be wrong to single out individual players, they have a number of players that if not dealt with properly can hurt you, but so have we.

“We have massive, massive options, we have everyone fully fit, have a minimum of 21 to choose from, and they’ll all be vying to start and do well.”

Although acknowledging the importance of the game, as should Luton win it would see them open up a five point gap over their rivals, Jones was trying not to hype the occasion too much.

He added: “I understand it’s a big game and if you beat one of your rivals is does make a statement, but we’re not looking to do that, we’re looking to win a football match and that’s what it is tomorrow.

“It’s a massive game, two big clubs with aspirations, two big clubs that believe the infrastructure and everything is there for higher leagues, the fanbase is magnificent too.

“I think the way that both sides play it’s a big, big game and one we’re really looking forward to and I’d imagine Portsmouth are exactly the same.

“To work with the group I’ve got is the dream really as a manager and then to test them in games like this is really, really good.

“It’s a fantastic feeling, hopefully that will continue until midnight on Tuesday night and we’ll get the result, but we’re really looking forward to it and we’ve got a group who are ready.

“So for us tomorrow is one we want to win, one we’ll try to win and one we believe we can.”