Jones ready to test Luton squad as he targets cup progress

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Luton boss Nathan Jones has confirmed his side will be going all out to progress in both cup competitions this week.

The Hatters start by heading National League side Gateshead tomorrow afternoon in the FA Cup second round, before a Checkatrade Trophy clash at home to West Ham U21s on Tuesday night.

Now we’ll see as our squad will be tested this week and hopefully we can come through it.

Nathan Jones

On what kind of team he will select for the ties, Jones said: “We’ll go as strong as we possibly can in both games.

“We have a fantastic squad here that we keep waxing about, it’s a good squad, so they’re going to be tested over these next three games.

“We’ve got three games in the space of six days and our squad will be tested, but that’s why we asked the board and the club to back us in that kind of way.

“It’s for moments like these, that’s what I say to the players, that we’re competing on three fronts, so you need to be right at is.

“Now we’ll see as our squad will be tested this week and hopefully we can come through it.”

Town will make sure they are leaving no stone unturned in their bid to reach the third round of the world’s most famous cup competition too, as Jones continued: “We’re firmly focused and that’s been mirrored in the preparation we’ve done.

“The club have been fantastic, we travel up today (Friday), two days before, so that we don’t have any hiccups in terms of traffic and fatigue.

“The club has backed me which I thank them for and we’re treating it with the utmost respect as if we don’t then we’ll come unstuck.

“They’ll be a real test, we’ve watched in all six games of them. We usually watch five, but we’ve watched six this week as we’ve had a little bit of time to be able to do that with the extra day and they’re a threat.

“They’ve got some real good midfield players, got wide ones who cause you problems too. We’re well aware of their threat, but we also pose a significant threat ourselves.

“So that’s what we’ll be concentrating more on, but just to reiterate, there will be no elements of lethargy in our preparation and hopefully none in our play.”

Meanwhile, when asked if there were any specific threats that the Heed, currently 15th in the National League, will possess for Luton to be worried about, Jones added: “It would be wrong for me to single anyone out and give them a gee up, but they have some real sound midfield players, link players, players that can get on the ball and want to play.

“They’re quite an expansive, a good footballing side under Steve Watson which you’d expect and if they’re a reflection of their manager, he was a fantastic player and a real combative player, so they’ll have those characteristics.

“It’s going to be a test and I’m not concerned with any of Gateshead’s players.

“I just want my team to do well and play to the best of their ability and if we do that then we’ll be reasonably confident.”