Luton chief confident Town players will be 'fired up' to take on rivals Hornets

Town manager believes game will be different to clash at Vicarage Road

Friday, 16th April 2021, 1:22 pm
Updated Friday, 16th April 2021, 1:24 pm
James Collins can't hide his frustration after missing a glorious chance at Watford earlier in the season

Luton chief Nathan Jones insists his squad of players will be ‘fired up’ to face fierce rivals Watford at Kenilworth Road tomorrow.

The Hatters were beaten 1-0 by the Hornets in the reverse fixture at Vicarage Road back in September, as although James Collins hit the bar from close range, the visitors left without having an actual shot on target.

Speaking after the game, Jones stated he was 'flabbergasted by the lacklustre performance' from his players as they failed to ever really lay a glove on their opponents throughout the 90 minutes.

When asked if he was worried it would be an issue again for the game, starting at 12.30pm to avoid clashing with the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral, this weekend, Jones said: “No, I think the lacklustre thing came about because we’d had Man United (Carabao Cup tie) in the week and it was a real hectic schedule.

"It’s not that schedule now, we've trained twice this week, given them a couple of rest days to get everyone in and around it, but we’ll be fired up.

"It’s slightly different, it’s early on in the season, we had played Man United in the midweek.

"I hope that it doesn’t happen again, of course I hope it’s a rip-roaring derby, we win and it’s played in great spirits, great intensity, but it’s a wonderful game to look forward to.

"I think the early kick-off actually helps us, everyone out and about, no time to think about it and bang, we’re locking horns straight away, I’m looking forward to the game.”

Meanwhile, Jones, like everyone is disappointed that Town's first match with Watford at Kenilworth Road in just over 15 years will be played in front of an empty stadium due to fans not being allowed to attend.

He wants to make sure those who are watching from home are left proud of the display though, adding: "The game is different now, it’s not just a swashbuckling game all the time, and fans do affect that.

"If you take the fans out of it, then the atmosphere, any kind of nerves are taken away from it from their point of view, if you like, because there is not that roar, that intimidation – and that’s what we miss at the Kenny because the Kenny is brilliant for that.

"When we get our tails up, or when we need a lift, our fans are magnificent, it’s so enclosed and it’s quite daunting, and if there’s any shrinking violets, then you get found out.

"We are going to miss that, so we are going to have to raise that, but we are going to have to put in a performance that we are proud of.

"If we are proud of it, then the fans will be proud of it because they like that, and they need that.

"They’ve been magnificent this year, and they’ve played their part so much.

"I know we say it all the time, but it’s true, it’s enabled us to continue to move forward at a steady rate because without their backing and their help, we would be putting out fires and just battling like Red Adair.

"But we’re not, we have been able and they’ve played that role, so we’d like to give them something as well and say ‘look, that’s for you’ – and this could be the game for that."