Jones won't be handing out any favours to struggling Rotherham despite close friendship with Millers boss Paul Warne

Hatters chief going for victory to bolster his own side's league position

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 11:09 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 11:10 am
Hatters boss Nathan Jones offers some instructions during Saturday's 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough

Luton boss Nathan Jones is concentrating solely on another victory for the Hatters this evening despite potentially playing a huge role in one of his best friends suffering relegation back to League One.

Town take on a struggling Rotherham United side, who are third bottom of the table, three points adrift of safety with two matches to go, and managed by Paul Warne, a former team-mate of Jones during their playing days at Yeovil Town.

The Millers looked in with a real chance of avoiding the drop until a woeful run of five defeats in a row recently, arresting that slump with a 1-1 draw against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, as they have taken just one point from a possible 18, leaving them clinging to Championship survival by a thread.

Although they can’t officially down down this evening, a defeat would take staying up out of their hands ahead of the weekend's final round of fixtures, but Jones, whose Luton side were in a similar situation last term, said: “This time last year we had a wonderful win against Hull City away, but still needed to win or to get better than other results to survive on the final day.

“We’re not in that position now, but Warney’s one of my real good friends.

“I played with Warney for two or three years at Yeovil, he's done a wonderful job there and in all intents and purposes I would like him to do well, it’s just after Tuesday.

"But I want to take our football club forward and that’s all that we will worry about.

"Whatever happens, Rotherham have to take care of themselves, for us, it’s all about us and whatever happens Tuesday, there's nothing guaranteed for Rotherham in any way, whatever the result is.

"But for us, we want to guarantee ourselves, so all I’m concerned about is Luton Town."

Despite the close friendship, Jones won’t be out to do any favours to the opposition especially after last year’s 3-2 win over Blackburn Rovers on the final day with saw visiting keeper and ex-Town loanee Christian Walton go up for a stoppage time corner which could have drawn the visitors level.

The Luton boss continued: “This time last year we were sitting on 47 points, 47 points keeps you up this year, so all I’m saying is we have to worry about ourselves.

"This time last year, we had a goalkeeper that I worked with, that I’m friends with, that I helped, come up here in the 94th minute to try and relegate us, so no-one tried to do Luton Town any favours.

"It’s not like we want to do anyone any favours, we are concentrating solely on getting three points and I want to get three pints, because that will cement us in a top half finish.”

Luton have their own personal glory in sight though as a win would take them to 64 points, three more than their previous best at this level which was 61 in the 2005-06 season.

Then they finished 10th, a position they could equal or possibly even better when travelling to QPR on the final day this weekend, as Jones added: “If that's (points tally) the stat then I want us to beat that, I want us to finish higher than that team did and anything on Tuesday will mean that.

"All we’ve always wanted to do is progress and get better.

"Season by season, we’ve done that, we’ve managed to do that every single season.

"Now the higher we go this year the more difficult it will be for next year, but that’s the club, that's the environment, that’s the culture here and that's what we want to do.”