Jones hopes Tykes don't have an extra edge

Luton boss Nathan Jones
Luton boss Nathan Jones

Luton boss Nathan Jones hopes that Barnsley won’t have an extra edge over his side this afternoon after not playing in midweek.

With the Hatters taking on MK Dons in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday evening, the Tykes had a full week off to prepare for today's midday kick-off.

When asked if it would help the hosts, Jones said: "It might do, sometimes it happens when you play in midweek, you might have a bit more rhythm, a bit more fluency, but we freshened up the squad in midweek.

“It’s not like we had to play a full 90, but we've done this before. We had to play Oxford on a Wednesday night in the semi-final of the Checkatrade, pretty much full team and went toe-to-toe with them and then went and beat Yeovil on the weekend.

“Fatigue is sometimes psychological and we’ve tried to look after them as much as we can. I’ve freshened things up with the team, and then after the game, regardless of anything, they’ll get their block of days off which is structured into our environment.

“They (Barnsley) might be stale, they might have been thinking about this game too much, you just never know and I don’t think there’s a gauge for it.

"With such a big match on the weekend, we've had less time to prepare for that.

“It’s been a bit of a disjointed week as one we've had to prepare for the Checkatrade game, and recovering from that if you like before we can actually prepare for Barnsley.

“It didn't come at a particularly good time, but for a lot of people probably needed the minutes, had them.

"We can't control the schedule, we've got to make sure that we prepare in the right way.

"The club always back me with good preparation, so it's disrupted it slightly, but it was an excellent performance and I'm delighted to have progressed through the group.”

With the game kicking off at noon, Jones admitted that would alter his usual preparation, saying: “It does change quite a lot and we're changing accordingly.

"Not to give too much away, but as a player I really liked 12 o'clock kick-offs.

"If I had my way I'd have had 12 o'clock kick offs all the time as you literally wake up, have breakfast, you're at the game, there's no waiting around time.

"I prefer 12 o’clock kick offs and hopefully my players do.”

On the challenge of facing a Tykes side who are fourth in the the league and hammered Peterborough United 4-0 on their travels last week, he continued: “There's been a lot said about Barnsley, they're this and they're that, so we know it will be a tough, tough fixture.

"We seem to be playing everyone above us, we've had to come up against a real tough run of fixtures, but Barnsley who have a tough fixture as well.

"I'm sure they will prepare in the same way that we have and with the same mentality that if they don't do it right, then it can bite them.”