Town chief urges his side to show they can 'handle' a Wednesday night trip to Rotherham

Hatters manager a big fan of Millers boss and former team-mate Paul Warne

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 4th November 2020, 11:16 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th November 2020, 11:18 am
Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Luton chief Nathan Jones has urged his players to show they can handle the pressures of travelling to Rotherham United on a Wednesday night when they make the trip to the Millers this evening.

Town will be on unfamiliar surroundings tonight, with a first ever visit to the AESSEAL New York Stadium, a venue United moved into back in 2012.

The Millers are back in the second tier of English football after just one year’s absence, finishing second in League One last term when the season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

They have bounced between the Championship and League One over the last four seasons, and ahead of the fixture, Jones said: “It will be an extremely tough game and it’s one of those cliches; ‘can they handle it at Rotherham on a Wednesday night?’

“It’s going to be a tough game, we know that.

“They’re a tough side and it’s only early days yet, but they’re more experienced at this level than we are of late.

“They went up, came down and have gone back up again, so they’ve got real good continuity with the same manager and same people around the club.

“They will have learned from the first experience they had and they’re actually slightly more experienced than we are at this level, I would think.”

Rotherham have made a decent enough start to life back in the Championship again, with two wins, three draws and four defeats to sit 19th in the table.

With some labelling the Millers a direct side, Jones felt that was unfair, as he continued: “Their whole 11 can cause you problems, it’s not individuals, they’ve got people that can score goals and have scored goals but they’re a collective.

“It’s not a perennial Championship-winning team that have multi-million pound strikers, but they will have threats, so they’re a bit like us.

“We need our threats to play well and they have threats, so they need those threats to play well and if they do it will be a tough game.

“I think they’re a front-footed side, they’re an in your face side.

“Are they as fluent as a Fulham last year? No, but without being disrespectful, Fulham’s budget was probably 15 times more.

“Rotherham are a side that are very, very difficult to play against.

"I wouldn’t call them direct, I’d call them front footed and we have to make sure that we combat that and we go beyond that as we have to be as well.”

United are managed by an old team-mate of Jones in Paul Warne, who has been with the club since his playing days in 2009, taking the helm in 2016.

The Town chief added: “He’s a good friend of mine and his teams mirror him. I know exactly how he plays and how he sets up his teams.

"I played with him at Yeovil, we had a few years, good mates, two old-timers we were then.

“He was the best defensive right winger I ever played with which you could read into that anything you want, he knows what I mean.

“He’s been there longer because he was fitness coach as well, he had Danny Hylton when Danny Hylton was at Rotherham and Warney was a big part of that there.

"I think he earned his stripes in terms of trust, took the manager’s role and did really, really well. He’s really well thought of there.

“He’s a guy that players want to play for him, a really good guy, I’m delighted to see him doing well.

"Great family man, he puts those values into his recruitment and I can see why he’s been a successful manager.”