Hatters boss: We're ready for the challenge of going up

Luton chief Nathan Jones believes both he and the rest of the squad are fully prepared for the challenge of going up this season.

Saturday, 1st April 2017, 8:21 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 8:18 pm
Hatter boss Nathan Jones

Town may well have to do it the hard way this season, with a play-off place looking their best outcome after slipping to eight points behind third placed Portsmouth in recent weeks.

Although still hoping to catch their south coast rivals, Jones is confident his players have the desire to make sure they are plying their trade in League One next term, as he said: “I’m ready for the challenge, we’re ready for the challenge, it’s a great challenge, what a great position to be in this year.

“We want to go up automatic, we really do. We wanted to win the league, that is probably unrealistic now, so the next one is to get automatic and until that’s mathematically impossible, that’s our goal.

“Then if not, the minimum requirement is to go up through the play-offs, and that’s our goal and that’s very, very much on track.

“So lets get behind everyone, let’s not think, we’ve had a little stutter up. We’ve got to come through that and if we finish well, we’ll achieve our goal.

“Last year, look at Bristol Rovers, they finished the season with aplomb and went up automatic.

“I lost in the play-off final to Blackpool who came from 11th or 12th, they just finished the season strong, went through the play-offs like knife through butter, won the final, so that’s what we’ve got to do.

“It’s a big month of football to come now and let’s stay positive, let’s stay together, because everyone is going to need to play their part.

“We’ve been consistent all over the season, now we’ve got to make sure that doesn’t diminish at all.”

Standing in Town’s way of getting back on the winning trail is a Blackpool side who head to Kenilworth Road on the back of a nine game unbeaten run.

It has seen Gary Bowyer’s side climb above Luton into fifth place on goal difference, and the only surprise for Jones was it had taken the Tangerines so long to hit form this year.

He added: “They’ve got one of the best squads in the league, they really have got a good side.

“If they don’t (make the play-offs) then I think they’ll probably be slightly under-achieving and I don’t mean to be disrespectful.

“They’ve got a real good side, their front five or six are as good as anyone in the league and they’ve had that regularly.

“Right up until we played them in December, they were flying then, then they stuttered and then they’ve come again.

“But the players they’ve got, they’ve got some wonderful players for this level, a very, very strong squad.

“So I wouldn’t say they’ve come out of nowhere, they’ve probably been one of the ones that if you know the league then you think hang on, these are a difficult side to beat."