Jones: Leeds trip is definitely not a free hit for Luton

Hatters boss doesn't agree that his side don't need to worry about outcome at Elland Road

Tuesday, 30th June 2020, 6:30 am
Town boss Nathan Jones enjoys his side's 1-0 win at Swansea on Saturday

Luton chief Nathan Jones has categorically denied that tonight’s trip to Leeds United can be viewed as a ‘free hit’ for his side.

The visitors head to Elland Road to take on the Championship leaders who are eight points clear at the top of the table and heavy favourites to win promotion to the Premier League after beating Fulham 3-0 on Saturday.

Town are 9/1 with league sponsors Sky Bet to triumph, as opposed to odds of 2/7 for the Whites, but although Luton have six crucial games remaining after the contest against sides in and around the bottom three, Jones didn’t think for a moment that means they can afford to not give this evening their full attention.

He said: “Every game is important, it’s a mini tournament, a mini league, we have to take the points where we can get them.

"It’s 100 per cent not a free hit and we’re not looking at it in that way in any way, shape or form.

"We want to build momentum, we want to make sure we’re structurally good, so it’s not about going there and having a free hit, absolutely not, and I don’t want the players thinking that.

"We mentioned that today, it’s a chance to build.

“At the minute, every result is a massive one, because of the magnitude and the importance and the proximity of games, the proximity to the end of the season.

"Every game is massive now and you can use the same analogies, cup finals and so on, but every single game now is so, so important.

"So it’s just another opportunity to get more points on the board to reach the tally that we have set.”

Jones did admit that to claim a second successive victory on the road having beaten Swansea 1-0 at the weekend, it would take a huge effort against a Marcelo Bielsa side he rates extremely highly.

He continued: "It’s the toughest test in the league, it has been all season, it was last year too.

"Leeds are the best side in the Championship and I don’t mean that with any disrespect to anyone else, but they don’t change.

"They come after you, they're relentless, they play a certain way and if you're not at it, then you don’t survive.

“What you have to do is make sure you defend well, work hard and take your chances, if you do that then you’ll have an opportunity."

Town go into the game on the back of a now give game unbeaten run either side of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After taking four points from six since returning to action against Preston and Swansea, Jones would now love to go unbeaten for the remainder of the season if at all possible, adding: "It’s a decent start, especially considering the opposition we’ve come up against, in terms of two play-off hopeful teams, so I’m delighted.

“On Saturday I thought we were excellent, we’ve improved game by game and it’s very difficult coming out of lockdown, so to take four from those two games is pleasing.

“All we have to do is try and narrow the gap.

"When we first came in, it was six points with a big deficit on goal difference, now we’re down to three with slightly less deficit on goal difference, so we’re just chipping away it it.

“What we have to do is keep concentrating on ourselves, we don’t look at other results, we haven’t looked at other teams and thought 'if we get that and they do that,' we have to concentrate on ourselves.

“We keep saying if we get to a points total then that gives an opportunity.

“Yes, we’d probably take that again (last seven games), another four wins and three draws, from now until the end of the season.

"We’ve had a decent start, we’ll not get carried away, there's some tough games coming up, real tough games, none more so than Leeds.

"It’s a decent start but we have to build on it."