'Nothing to fear' but Luton chief knows Town have to be at their best to upset table-topping Cherries

Manager relishing 'great game' at Kenilworth Road

Saturday, 15th January 2022, 9:14 am
Updated Saturday, 15th January 2022, 9:16 am
Hatters score at Bournemouth earlier this season in a 2-1 defeat - pic: Gareth Owen

Hatters boss Nathan Jones is well aware his side need to be at their very best in order to upset Championship leaders Bournemouth at Kenilworth Road this afternoon, although insists there is no fear amongst his squad about the task ahead.

Luton go up against Scott Parker's table-toppers live on Sky Sports in a 12.30pm kick-off, looking to put a dent in the Cherries clear and obvious Premier League ambitions.

It will be far from easy though, the visitors having the third highest scorer in the division in their ranks, former Liverpool forward Dominic Solanke, a player they paid £17m for back in January 2019.

They also have Philip Billing at £15m and £25m midfielder Jefferson Lerma in their ranks, plus former Town favourite Jack Stacey, as on the contest, Jones said: "With the resources we have, we are a smaller fish in this Championship pond.

"We know to keep those levels constantly, it is very difficult because we know what we do to win games.

"Fulham have got a budget that absolutely roasts us, for us to compete with those teams over a season is very difficult, but for us to compete on a one-off is a bit more realistic.

"We have come up against some big teams, big players.

"They brought Solanke for £25 million, ours is probably just over a million pounds, that is the difference between being consistent regularly because you pay for that.

"But we’re in a wonderful place in terms of competing at this level, in terms of really going after teams at this level and that is all you can do.

"In certain games, people can raise their game and the crowd get behind the team, but everything has to be right for us to compete on a regular basis with a Bournemouth and a Fulham.

"We’re going to need to the fans, we’re going to need the players, we’re going to need to be tactically switched on, everyone behind us and then something good can happen.

"If we are to beat Bournemouth, then that’s an upset and a lot of people have got to do a lot of good things."

Town do have previous against the Cherries though, taking four points from their south coast opponents last season, and only narrowly going down 2-1 this term, a game they could have easily taken something from.

Jones added: "Last season we didn’t lose – we drew at home and beat them away from home.

"This year, we should have taken the lead but from two moments of quality from them, they were 2-0 up.

"We were chasing the game and then we were really front footed and had opportunities.

"There’s nothing to fear but there’s plenty of respect for the manager and his coaching staff because they’re good and proven at this level.

"There’s plenty of respect for their players because they’re good at this level and proven at this level and performed admirably at Premier League level, so we have no fear but plenty of respect.

"The last game that we played was against Fulham and then we have Bournemouth and Sheffield United soon, so it doesn’t come much bigger than that in the Championship.

"We’re going to look forward to the game, we’ve worked tactically and prepared as best we can.

"It’s a wonderful game, live on Sky, early kick-off, hopefully a full house, what a great game."