Hatters chief ready to face a 'vastly experienced' Bristol City under Nigel Pearson

Robins had added real top flight quality this season

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 2:36 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 2:38 pm
Midfielder Matty James has signed for Bristol City this season
Midfielder Matty James has signed for Bristol City this season

Luton boss Nathan Jones is readying himself to come up against a ‘vastly experienced’ Bristol City side at Ashton Gate this evening.

Robins manager Nigel Pearson has been active in the transfer market over the summer, moving on a number of players, while strengthening his personnel with the addition of two former Leicester players in Matty James and Andy King, whom he had during his time in charge at the King Power Stadium.

Those new arrivals, coupled with the likes of Chris Martin, Andreas Weimann and Danny Simpson, give Pearson plenty of top flight and Championship nous available to him, as ahead of the game, Jones said: “It’s players he knows, players he had at Leicester along with Danny Simpson as well, so he brought players he knows.

"He re-signed Nathan Baker, so he’s got a really vastly experienced squad.

"Chris Martin and Andreas Weimann are really experienced players and you do need that experience in the Championship coupled with some youth and exuberances and pace and power and that’s the ideal blend.

"But Nigel is a very experienced manager who knows the league inside out.”

Despite having had over two decades as a manager or coach, Pearson is yet to figure out a way of ending his side's long wait for a home victory.

Taking over in February last year, the former Leicester, Hull, Derby and Watford boss has had 10 matches in charge at Ashton Gate, with just three draws and seven defeats, one of them against Luton last season, Town hitting back from 2-0 down to win 3-2.

City’s lengthy spell without a triumph in front of their own fans actually goes even further, 13 matches in total, since beating Huddesrfield in January, as Jones continued: “I hope that’s intact on Thursday.

“It will be a tough game, Nigel’s had a bit more time to work with them now.

"He exchanged a few players he probably wanted to move out for players he’s brought in so it will be a real tough game at Ashton Gate.

"A wonderful game, wonderful stadium, good club, but we’re looking forward to going there.

“It’s a tough league, you have to show consistency to keep picking up points.

“If you do that, then you can put yourself in a good position.”

With Luton going into the game in the same position they ended last season, 12th, a win could see them leapfrog their hosts into 11th.

After just six games of the campaign, Jones remains determined to mastermind a better finish this year, adding: "We want to improve on what we did last year.

"Right now, we’re bang on where we were last year, we’re not above it or below it, but we feel a little bit harshly done by in certain instances.

"We’ve also not been able to select from a full squad in any one of our games.

"What we’ve got to do is make sure we stick in there, so that when everyone is back and we’ve got that full squad to choose from, we can hit the ground running and put some runs together.

“We’ve got a tough month now, in terms of Blackburn and Bristol away.

"This rule of two away and two at home is ludicrous as well, I don’t know where that’s come from.

“There’s two journeys and by the time you come to your home game (against Swansea) you’ve been on the road all week, it’s one of those things."