Jones ready for a Manchester United side brimming with world class talent

Luton boss Nathan JonesLuton boss Nathan Jones
Luton boss Nathan Jones
Town chief expecting to come up against some international stars in cup clash

Hatters boss Nathan Jones knows whatever Manchester United side that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opts to put out at Kenilworth Road tomorrow night, it is guaranteed to be packed full of international stars.

The Red Devils chief has confirmed he will make changes for the third round tie after losing 3-1 to Crystal Palace on Saturday, but that could still see England international Mason Greenwood in action, plus £35m summer signing and Dutch international Donny van de Beek, Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo and Argentinian defender Marcos Rojo all given game-time.

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On what kind of team he is planning to face, Jones said: “If I’m honest, we plan for the very best team they can put out and whatever changes they make, they’re extremely strong.

"So they’ll either have 11 internationals, or 11 different internationals, one of the two will happen.

"Realistically it's the biggest club in the world, they have unlimited finances, a fantastic squad and it’s a great opportunity for us to test ourselves against them.

"It’s a real shame there's no fans here as it would be a wonderful, wonderful one for our fans to see and to have Man United rolling into town but those are the times we’re in.

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"The names you reeled off are all international football players, so whatever you want to do, Eric Bailly, (Harry) Maguire, (Victor) Lindelof, Phil Jones, whoever you want to use, (Aaron) Wan-Bissaka, they’re all top players, so it makes no difference who they play.

"It’s either absolutely world class or not far off world class so it’s going to be a tough time.

"All we can do is prepare ourselves in terms of our gameplan, how we press, how we work and how we defend, how we look to play.

"Unless they play the U23s that will probably be the only shock.”

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Although one look at the teamsheet could send shivers down the spine of some of Luton's players, Jones knows that as soon as the game kicks off, they will be in with a chance of progressing.

He continued: "I think once the whistle goes, it doesn’t make a difference.

"You do your prep exactly the way you can and once players cross the line, it’s pretty much over to them.

"It’s a real good, respite's not quite the right word, but it’s away from league action, it’s a nice diversion and distraction but it’s a game we want to be competitive in and want to be the best version of ourselves.

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"Because it’s another test for us to evolve and get better and to climb the Championship league, we have to have tests like this.

"There isn’t many bigger tests in world football than Man United."

The visitors go into the game on the back of a disappointing home loss on Saturday, but Jones didn't think that meant his side could look to take advantage.

He said: "I think if you’re Liverpool, Man City or maybe Leicester then you might be thinking 'this is a good time to play them,' but coming up against them is a totally different challenge, a different set of circumstances.

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"So in terms of being able to beat Man U, I don’t think there is ever a good time to play them but it’s one we relish.

"Whether they make 11 changes, whether they come with 11 internationals, 11 worthy of getting your shirt swapped if you like, we’re treating this as a real good game, a real test for us.

"We want to test ourselves and there isn’t many better than Man U."

Town's chief is also looking forward himself to going up against Red Devils boss Solskjaer on the touchline, the Norwegian having been in charge at Old Trafford for almost two years now, having taken over in December 2018.

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He added: "It's the first time I have come up against them and I’m going to relish the occasion obviously.

"I know Ole, I’ve spoken to Ole in the past, through business and so on.

"It’s always a good occasion when you play Man United, it’s a big task to play against them as any Premier League side would say but we’re going to relish the opportunity and hopefully we can give our best account of ourselves."

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