Luton Town boss Nathan Jones has refused to be ‘dictated’ to by the EFL over his team selection for tomorrow’s Checkatrade Trophy trip to Swindon.
The Hatters were fined £15,000 for going against the competition’s rules and making 11 changes in all three of their group stage matches by the league’s governing body, despite winning two and losing one to quality for the next stage.
We’ve assembled our own squad to take our own club forward, and I’m not going to be dictated by the EFL in that way.Nathan Jones
Should Jones do the same at the County Ground, there is every chance of being hit with another £5,000 penalty, but when asked if that will influence his choice for the game, he said: “No, it doesn’t come into our mind. We can’t be dictated to like that, because we adhere to the rules and we do respect all the competitions we’re in.
“But if the EFL want to come in and monitor our training loads and come in every single day then I can justify why we do stuff.
“We’ve assembled a squad and we’ve got 95 per cent of our own players, all under contract.
“We’ve managed to borrow Alex Gilliead, and we’ve borrowed Christian Walton from Brighton, but apart from that, we’ve assembled our own squad to take our own club forward, and I’m not going to be dictated by the EFL in that way.
“We’ll respect every competition and do things right at this club and we should be a pioneer, we should be a shining light.
“So I’m not going to change anything, just because I’m told to.
“We’re an example as a football club, we should be a shining light, not punished.
“So the longer we stay in the competition, the more press we get for it. I’m not going to say any more than I’ve already said on it, but we should be encouraged not castigated for what we’ve done.
“It just seems a little bit petty to be honest.”
When asked what kind of team he will opt for against their League One opponents, Jones continued: “We’ll go strong tomorrow, we’ll have a strong side out, one that we won’t change for anything, but one that we want to compete on all three competitions.
“So we’ll put out a side that we think we’ve got a chance of winning the game tomorrow and that will be a strong side and hopefully we won’t incur another fine.”
When pressed whether any of Saturday’s team who beat Solihull Moors 6-2 in the FA Cup could feature, Jones said: “It will be a strong side, I won’t give too much away, but it will be a strong side that goes and takes on Swindon.
“Because we know Swindon hasn’t had a game on the weekend so there’ll be fresh, and we’re looking to the game.”