No romance but Jones wants FA Cup progress against Chairboys

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Hatters boss Nathan Jones knows there is no romance in today’s FA Cup clash with Wycombe Wanderers, but wants his side to progress nonetheless.

Town were drawn at home to their fellow League One opponents, a team they faced twice in the league last year as well, both coming up from division below, with the encounter at Adams Park back in September finishing 1-1.

Speaking about the tie, Jones said: “In these rounds, it’s just another game. Ironically we’ve just prepared for another league game as we’ve pulled someone from our own league.

“Without being disrespectful to anyone, there’s no romance in playing Wycombe.

“We’ve played Wycombe about seven or eight times since I’ve been here.

"We’ve played them once already in the league, we’ve got to play them again in the league and then we play them in the cup as well.

“They’ve gone out of the Checkatrade otherwise I was thinking we’d pull them in that as well!

“But it’s a real tough game and we treat every competition to be fair.

“We’ve not rested people, we’ve used our squad for certain things, because we have our own agenda here, how we want to finish, what we want to accomplish, and the FA Cup’s a big part of that.

“We had a wonderful little run last year, and going out at the third round to Newcastle was no blemish on our reputation in any way, and it meant we could concentrate on the league.

“We had three real tough games, Portsmouth, Gateshead and Newcastle, so we played a real blend.”

Since taking over at Kenilworth Road, Jones has face the Chairboys on six occasions, with three wins, two draws and one defeat.

Only once has there been more than one goal between the two teams, as Jones continued: "They’re usually, very, very tight games.

"There was one game where we won 4-1, but I think that’s the only one really that’s been a comfortable game, and it wasn’t exactly comfortable, it’s just the scoreline suggests it was far more comfortable than it was.

"Apart from that they’ve been really tight games, congested games.

"We know what we’re going to come up against, and how they play and how they play against us especially.

"So it’s always a really tough game to play against them and we know we have to be at it."

The Chairboys managed by Gareth Ainsworth, are in good vein of form now, winning four out of six matches, as asked about coming up against the ex-Wimbledon and Port Vale midfielder, who is now the second longest serving manager in the English game, Jones added: "I respect every manager to a certain level, some you lose respect for or some you gain even more respect for, due to circumstance, or due to when you come up against them.

"But Gareth is as honest as the day is long, always was a player. He annoyed you as a player, he got in your face, and I imagine I was similar to him, but as a manager he’s done a fantastic job at the football club.

"He’s been given time at the football club which is really vital these days, because at any point, if they lose perspective, manager’s can come and go.

"He’s been there, he’s got to play-offs, he’s got them in a real competitive part of the league and then with that continuity, he was always going to do good work.

"He gets them up, he’s done a fantastic job there and is continuing to do that.

"So we know it will be a tough game, but the respect is well earned from him as a player and as a manager. You don’t hand out respect willy nilly but his is very well earned."