Jones doesn’t believe Town will start play-offs as favourites

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones
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Hatters boss Nathan Jones doesn’t agree with Blackpool chief Gary Bowyer that his side will begin tomorrow night’s League Two play-off semi-final between the two sides as favourites.

Luton beat the Tangerines twice in the regular season, winning 2-0 at Bloomfield Road and 1-0 at Kenilworth Road, finishing fourth in the table, seven points of Bowyer’s side in seventh.

They’re very evenly matched teams and think it’s only the margins on the day that will decide it.

Nathan Jones

Speaking to the press prior to the game, the Blackpool manager said: “We need to produce the performance and the result will take care of itself. These are the games you want to be involved in.

“We can play pressure-free because Luton are the favourites.”

However, when asked whether he felt winning home and away without conceding would have any benefit to his side ahead of the contest, Jones said: “I’m not sure it does actually, I just think we start again now.

“Moments change games in these play-offs. All that means (winning both matches) was that six points ensured us to finish in fourth place and now we put that to bed.

“We do know how they play, but they know how we play. We’ve done our work on them, but we’re just looking forward to it and it will be a big game.

“It just comes down to the two games. You have to be better on the day and the side that is better and handles the pressure, handles the occasion better generally tends to win.”

Although Luton go into the game in slightly better form, taking 17 points from their final seven games, as opposed to 13 for Blackpool, and had a better record during the campaign, Jones knows that won’t come into it once the first ball is kicked.

He continued: “The two sides were much of a muchness, there was seven points in it.

“We’re ahead of them on stats in terms of games won, in terms of defensive record, scored more goals, but it’s really marginal.

“So it will be a real keenly contested game between two attacking sides.

“It’s whatever you do on the day. It’s not like a Premier League game where, no disrespect to anyone, Chelsea play a Sunderland and you kind of think there’s only one winner.

“They’re very evenly matched teams and think it’s only the margins on the day that will decide it.”