Hatters boss relishes going up against Benitez

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Luton chief Nathan Jones is looking forward to testing himself against one of the most successful manager’s in the game when he takes on Newcastle chief Rafa Benitez tomorrow.

The Magpies chief has enjoyed a glittering career, winning La Liga twice, the Champions League, the UEFA Cup, the FA Cup, UEFA Super Cup, the Europa League and the FIFA Club World Cup to reel off but a few.

On facing him in the dug out, Jones said: “It will be brilliant, it’s where you want to be as a manager.

“You want to be pitting yourselves against some of the best in the business, Rafa’s got a wonderful track record, but it will be a wonderful occasion for the club.

“What we don’t want to do is go there and have a party and a day out,

“It’s not a day out, because you won’t enjoy it if you don’t acquit yourselves very well.”

When asked in his pre-match press conference about the Magpies’ poor FA Cup form in recent seasons, as they have only won two third round matches since 2010, and not gone beyond the fourth round since 2006, Benitez said: “I understand, because everybody wants to win and win trophies, but the reality is that we are where we are.

“ We will try to win this game and see if we can progress, and after that it depends on what is going on and the players available in each moment.

“It is not the same when you play two games a week when you play one a week, so we will try to manage in the best way possible to go through as far as we can.”

Meanwhile, when discussing facing the Hatters, who go into the game at the League Two summit, Benitez added: “We are playing against a good team – well-organised, with a lot of confidence and we cannot underestimate them.

“They have a lot of support from their fans and at the same time they are doing well. They are scoring goals, are top of the league, and the fans will be happy if they see a good game tomorrow. But, hopefully our fans will be more delighted at the end.”