Hatters boss knows struggling Cardiff will always be a difficult test for his Luton side

Town manager looks forward to today's fixture at Kenilworth Road

By Mike Simmonds
Saturday, 27th November 2021, 10:57 am
Updated Saturday, 27th November 2021, 10:58 am
Luton chief Nathan Jones
Luton chief Nathan Jones

Town boss Nathan Jones knows that today’s opponents Cardiff City will represent a difficult proposition for the Hatters despite their struggles in the Championship so far.

The Bluebirds would have gone into the season expecting to feature at the top end of the table after finishes of fifth and eight since their relegation from the Premier League.

However a club record run of eight straight defeats under Mick McCarthy saw the Welsh side plummet down the table, eventually costing the former Republic Ireland manager his job, as they appointed former Millwall and Leeds striker Steve Morison until the end of the season recently.

He has led the Bluebirds to two wins and a draw from his first five matches, although they were disappointingly beaten 1-0 at home by Hull City on Wednesday evening, as their mini revival was ended.

Jones said: “I think the biggest thing about the Championship is if you start expecting stuff, you get punched on the nose, that’s the way the Championship is.

“They would have hoped to have won the game as everyone does, but Hull would have hoped to win the game and they did, so their hope came true.

“Hull have been struggling but then they’ve turned it round and got three wins on the bounce, and that’s what can happen.

"Quick succession, quick things, you can hit a bit of form, or catch teams at the wrong time, have a couple of home games, take advantage of them and suddenly things happen, so that's the Championship.

“It’ll be tough game, a really tough game and any Championship game is tough, any time you come up against Cardiff it’s tough, so we know what to expect.

“They have a very, very good squad.

"I don’t expect too many things at this level because it is such a volatile level and such an unpredictable level.

"Yes you would expect Fulham and Bournemouth to be in the top two but anything else, the Championship is such a division that you haven’t got to do too much different and you can go on a run of winning four, but you don’t have to do too much different to go on a losing run of four games.

"That’s the way the Championship is, so it’s important we concentrate on us.

"Whatever Cardiff are doing or going through is up to them, we have to concentrate on what Luton Town do.”

With Morison taking his first job as a manager following spells with academy coaching at Northampton and Millwall, Jones was well aware of the forward having faced him during their playing careers, as he continued: “Yes, in his Millwall days, he was an excellent player.

“They tend to have a good relationship Cardiff with Millwall in terms of Mick, Chopper (Neil Harris) and Steve have all played for Millwall and some managed Millwall.

"So in a lot of ways it’s similar, you know you’re going to have a tough game, but Steve has started quite well.”

Cardiff have done better on the road this term too, with their home defeat to Hull in midweek a seventh loss out of 10 home fixtures.

Outside of Wales they have won three and drawn two from nine, as Jones said: "I think they’ve got 11 points away, seven at home, so their away form has been better than their home.

"Some teams find it easier to play away from home than they do at home, but we’re not one of those.

"Our home I would imagine is better than our away, they're both on the line, so let’s see.”

Playing in front of another bumper crowd at Kenilworth Road should be a big boost for the Hatters too as they look to end their own blip in form, going three games without a win or even a goal.

Jones added: “We need the supporters constantly.

"Let's not forget we are punching above our weight at this level, so we have to make sure everyone is aligned.

"It is no good getting frustrated because we’re not scoring as many as Fulham.

"If we score one less than Fulham in a season then we get promoted.

"We have to be realistic but it takes everything.

"A home game at the Kenny, we would like our supporters to be right with us to give us that lift and then I’m sure we can come out and get the right result.”