Hatters boss Nathan Jones is relishing the chance to cross swords with Barnet supremo Martin Allen when he takes his Luton side to the Hive on Easter Monday.
The 50-year-old has been christened ‘Mad Dog’ throughout his career, but Jones believes that nickname doesn’t do his managerial skills justice.
“He’s got a reputation of being a real firefighter and a red adair type and I know he wants to lose that because he’s better than that.”Nathan Jones
He said: “I know Martin, I’ve played with Martin, he’s different gear.
“Don’t underestimate him in terms of that though, because he’s a thinker and he’s a worker because I’ve seen him and he’s seen me at some real obscure games, some games you think what are you doing here?
“So he’s a worker and a grafter and I know deep down that he’s got a reputation of being a real firefighter and a red adair type and I know he wants to lose that because he’s better than that.
“I really like him, he’s a character he’s full value and I’m looking forward to seeing him and going up against him.”
Jones insisted that Allen can take great credit in the way he has set up Barnet this season too, with the Bees putting together an excellent home record, the fifth best in the league.
He continued: “They’re a reflection of their manager. It will be a real tough encounter, a tough game, they don’t give you a moment’s peace, they’re relentless, they come at you and put you under pressure constantly and they’re a decent outfit too.
“I watched them about five or six times, I went the other day to watch them play Portsmouth, they didn’t give Portsmouth a moment’s peace.
“So it’ll be a really, really, really difficult game and I’ve told them that, built them up this week because I know what kind of real test it will be.
“That comes from the manager, so I’m sure he’s proud of them at times.”
Town will definitely be up against one of the top strikers in the league too, with John Akinde bagging 14 goals so far this campaign, including four in his last eight matches.
However, Jones wasn’t just concentrating solely on the imposing centre forward, adding: “They have a number who are a threat, I know John from his time at Bristol City and have played against John myself, he’s a real handful.
“But they’ve got a few like that, they put pressure on you, especially at home, they’ve got a good home record and do certain things very, very well.
“So whoever they play up front will be a threat as the manager demands that. It will be a real, real test, whether it be John Akinde, or Curtis Weston, Shaun Batt, it will be a stern, stern test.”