Hatters boss confirms players will be training on Christmas Day

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Hatters boss Nathan Jones has confirmed his players will be in for training on Christmas Day in preparation for the Boxing Day trip to Swindon Town.

The Luton chief hadn’t been at all happy with the level of performance delivered against Colchester United at the same stage last season, with Hatters beaten 1-0 in a well below bar display at Kenilworth Road.

With that in mind, Jones is taking steps to ensure that doesn’t happen this term, as he said: “We gave them Christmas Day off and I think we put in a sluggish performance against Colchester on Boxing Day.

“They’ll be in on Christmas and that’s not a punishment or anything, that’s just a technical thing.

“I’ve been a manager on two Christmas Days at two different clubs and I’ve given them both Christmas Day off and I’ve lost and drawn, so I want to change that.

“Hopefully they can be fresher by being in on Christmas Day.

“We’ve looked after them, we’ve given them days off this week, they’ll have days off after Swindon, but it’s such an important period for everyone, regardless of where you are in the league.

“There’s three or four games in quick succession and a lot of things can change.”

Jones admitted that he himself would always train during his career, and it wasn’t about the players eating and drinking too much on Christmas Day, rather just continuing as normal with their goal of promotion well within reach this season.

He added: “It’s about what you feel comfortable with and as a player I always trained Christmas Day regardless of if I was in or not, so I never felt that my Boxing Day performances were anything less than right at it.

“It’s a lot of things, sometimes it’s a psychological one. As I said, I’m big on family as Christmas Day is an important time, but classic quotes, we get paid for what we don’t do over Christmas.

“We’ve got a good group, so I’ve got no problem with them over indulging, it’s just I think when you don’t do too much between games sometimes you don’t start on the front foot and we want to do that.

“We’ve got good athletes here, they’re all athletes, it’s nothing to do with restricting what they do, but we actually get the legs moving, we treat it as a normal game, not a Christmas period game.

“If we were doing this normally and we had a Saturday, Tuesday game for example, then we’d be in Sunday, Monday.

“So we’re just treating it as a normal game, and it is a normal game, it’s just the period in between is not normal, because it’s the most wonderful time of the year.”