Hatters to face Blackpool in League Two play-offs

Luton Town will face Blackpool in the League Two play-offs after a final day of high drama this evening.

Saturday, 6th May 2017, 11:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:55 pm
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

The Tangerines had started the afternoon in seventh place, but moved up to sixth due to Carlisle losing at Exeter, as Stevenage went seventh.

However, Carlisle then jumped above Boro after drawing level with the Grecians, before they were both leapfrogged by Colchester, who had moved ahead against Yeovil.

It was looking more and more like Luton would be heading to the U's, until the Cumbrians not only drew level at St James' Park, but went 3-2 up, meaning they returned to their initial sixth place, and with Blackpool defeating Leyton Orient 3-1, it ensured they stayed in that all-important seventh spot at the final whistle.

On his immediate reaction to their next opponents, Hatters boss Nathan Jones said: “Beautiful, we couldn’t affect who we were playing. all we could affect was finishing as high in the league as we wanted to and we finished fourth.

“We’ve got Blackpool. There were a lot of turns and twists and turns but it will be a very, very difficult game.

“They’re a good side, a real potent side but, also, they know that we’re a real good side.

“Anything can happen in the play-offs, they’re so tight. I envisage two tight games and hopefully we can come out and I’m standing here on the night of the 18th and let’s hope we’re going to Wembley.”

Jones admitted he hadn’t been considering what might have happened during the game at all, with the situation out of his hands, saying: “We concentrate on what we do, we can’t say ‘we hopes it’s Stevenage, we hope it’s this, hopes it’s that,' it doesn’t make a difference to us.

“All I was concerned about was finishing fourth and finishing strongly and rightly so as I think we’re, over a season, we’ve been at least the fourth best team in this league, and we’re going into it in good form.

“We didn’t take our foot off the pedal, didn’t rest anyone, we did everything right and we’re looking forward to the games coming up.”

Town will travel to Bloomfield Road for the first leg next Sunday at 6.30pm as on the timing of the fixture, Jones added: “It’s what it is. We can prepare for that by adjusting training times, it’s not ideal, but is the same for Blackpool.

“We’ll get up there early, we’ll prepare well, we’re looking forward to it. It’s a great occasion for us.

“A year ago we were here celebrating a 4-1 victory (against Exeter), but that was us done. There was a lot of hope and a lot of expectation over what the next season may bring.

“But it’s this season now and we really have something to play for.”