Luton Town chief Nathan Jones is hopeful that his side’s record against the top teams will come to the fore against Exeter City this afternoon.
Town have only lost to Portsmouth and Stevenage out of sides in the top eight this term, taking four points off the likes of both Doncaster and Plymouth Argyle.
With Exeter sitting in seventh place, one point behind Hatters, Jones said: “We’ve got a very good record against the top sides. We lost to Stevenage and that was the only defeat we’ve suffered against the top ones in recent times.
“Portsmouth beat us, but apart from that no-one in the top seven has beaten us. We turn up for the big games, so we’ve got to make sure we do that, but they’re all big games now, regardless of who we’re facing.
“It’s three points up for grabs and we have to show that desire to get it.
“I think you’ll see a different performance on Saturday from the one we put out against Stevenage, it will be more like the one we showed in midweek and hopefully with a bit more cutting edge.”
The fact that Exeter are challenging for the play-offs is nothing short of a miracle after a terrible start to the season that saw them sitting bottom of the table during November.
Luton knocked the Grecians out of the FA Cup with a 3-1 win and then drew 0-0 in the league clash at St James Park, but Jones felt that under Paul Tisdale, they were never likely to stay in the doldrums for too long.
He continued: They’re a good side. They’ve got a lot of stability, the players they’ve got there, manager’s been there for a while, they know what it’s about.
“They were in a false position with the players they have. Sometimes confidence is low, but they’ve gone on a run.
“They’ve got good individuals with a good work ethic, good team ethic, so they’ll be a difficult side and they play with a freedom that can be very dangerous.
“Exeter are a side with real good attacking strengths, but so are we. We just have to make sure, like we try to do every single week, is try to impose our play on teams and I’m confident if we do that, we’ll get the right result.”
This afternoon’s match finishes a difficult seven days in which Luton will have played three sides in the seven, only picking up a point from the first two matches so far.
Jones knows the outcome just has to be a home victory today, as he added: “On paper it’s been tough, but every game in this league is tough.
“We prepare the same for every week and it was disappointing against Stevenage as we were so far off it in terms of work-rate and especially out of possession.
“I wasn’t disappointed with the performance against Carlisle, so if we get the result we want at the weekend, it wouldn’t have been a disastrous week.
“Then we’ve got our game in hand (against Newport) which we need to take advantage of and then we’ve got eight games.
“So if we’re three or four points off third place with eight games to go, it’s a great place to be especially with the squad we have and the form we’ve been in, so that’s our goal really.”