Hatters boss: We have two wonderful games to boost our play-off dreams

Town chief looks ahead to upcoming fixtures

By Mike Simmonds
Monday, 11th April 2022, 1:25 pm
Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Luton boss Nathan Jones has insisted his side have two ‘wonderful’ fixtures coming up in which the Hatters can give their Championship play-off hopes a huge boost.

Town kick off the final six games of the season at Huddersfield Town this evening, travelling to a Terriers side who sit fourth in the second tier on 66 points, one place above Luton, who have 65 points to their name.

A victory would see Jones’ men climb into third place, also leapfrogging an in-form Nottingham Forest team who head to Kenilworth Road on Good Friday, following a run of five successive triumphs.

With the Hatters unbeaten in four themselves, following two wins and two draws, Jones knows it doesn’t get much tougher than their next two opponents, but is aware if Luton can muster another two victories, it would see them almost over the line for a top six berth, saying: “Everyone’s going to be the same, there’s some tough games, pressure on people.

“We’ve got two wonderful games coming up, because come out of that on the right side and you’re in a wonderful position.

“If you don’t then you’ve got it all to do, but six games to go and you’ve just got to get to a points tally.

“It doesn't matter which games you do them in, but if you can do them in those games, it’s double beneficial as we showed a few years ago when we beat the likes of Huddersfield and Hull to go above those (and stay up), that’s the way it is.”

Although Luton were hit by a late Peterborough leveller in their last contest, which saw the relegation threatened side score with four minutes remaining to restrict the Hatters to a point in a game they would have targeted all three in, Jones wasn’t too downhearted.

He continued: “It’s maybe a downer as the extra two points would have been lovely, but you have to just bounce back.

"It could be a good point depending on results and depending on what happens.

"When we came back (following lockdown in June 2020) we drew with Barnsley, didn't play very well, drew with QPR, didn't play very well.

"People were down in my office after, but they were two great points as those points kept us away from other teams.

"So if you don’t play well, don’t lose the game and that’s what we did.”

During the 1-1 draw at the Weston Homes Stadium, Jones utilised Fred Onyedinma in a wing-back role with James Bree dropping into the back three.

The moved worked well, Onyedinma setting up Danny Hylton for the opener and giving his opponents a torrid time when facing them one-on-one.

Jones said: “Fred was excellent, he really was.

"He gives us real energy that side and it’s just when we do that, we play Breesy and maybe you lose a little bit of that aerial dominance because he’s not an out-and-out centre half.

"We’re in a real good place, we were bold with certain things, we went with three strikers on the pitch, we lost one (Cameron Jerome) so we had to make a little change.

"We didn’t win enough of the first ball, get on the second, control the game, so we didn’t have enough chances.

"We huffed and puffed a little bit, I was hoping we could just see the game out, but we didn’t.

"There’s no easy games, yes they’re bottom of the league, but as you saw they were really positive.

"They went positive, had good energy and it was a tough game.

"I’m frustrated, but it could be a good point, you never know.”