Jones ready for 'stern test' to remain at the summit

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Luton boss Nathan Jones knows just what what a difficult challenge it will be for his side to maintain their position as League Two leaders at 5pm this afternoon.

The Hatters face Notts County at Kenilworth Road, as both teams go into the game with an identical record this term, having won 12, drawn five and lost three, although Luton lead the way on goal difference.

On coming up against the side who have former West Ham and Newcastle midfielder Kevin Nolan at the helm, Jones said: “They’re an experienced side, (Richard) Duffy and (Shaun) Brisley at the back, the manager is experienced, an experienced guy in football.

“You look at the midfield, people they’ve got, look at the front ones they have, real experience right throughout the side.

“So it’s going to be a real stern test, as Notts County will know coming up against us, it’s a real stern test.”

On-loan Nottingham Forest midfielder Jorge Grant is the Magpies’ main in front of goal, scoring an impressive 14 times this season, as Jones continued: “He’s a very good player, one that we like ourselves.

“They’ve got a good team, they must have a good team as they’re second in the league. They’ve been very consistent, they’ve scored goals, they’ve been able to defend, so they must have a good side.

"No-one’s after 20 games in the position they are if they’re not a good side.”

On whether County, who haven’t won on the road for six games, drawing three and losing three will come for a point, Jones said: “You never know, a draw might be a good result for them, for us, for anyone.

“But in terms of what they’ve done lately, they’re in excellent form. We’re on the same points, so they’ve been there all season, they’ve shown they can win away from home as well as at home.

“I can’t second guess what Notts County are going to do, all I can say is it’s a tough test.”

Meanwhile, with third placed Accrington four points adrift and Exeter five away in fourth, Jones didn’t think that there was any extra significance on the result at this stage of the campaign.

He added: “It’s early yet, whatever happens, the worst that can happen to us is we end up in second place at the end of the game and they end up top.

“It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it’s a big game, you want to win those games.

“We want to win, they’ll want to win and both teams I imagine will be going out to do that.

“I don’t think it sets down a marker, it’s just a big big game that you want to win.

“We lost against Coventry which we said was another real big game to set a marker down and then we’ve been unbeaten since.

“So I would have taken that after the Coventry defeat. Or if someone said you will lose to Coventry and then been on the run we’re on, I’d have taken that, so you never know, but it’s still only early.”