Dons' poor form of no concern to Hatters boss

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Luton chief Nathan Jones doesn’t think his side can afford to drop their intensity levels when they take on struggling AFC Wimbledon this afternoon.

After an opening 15 games which has seen Luton play all of the top 12 in League One barring Coventry, culminating in a 4-1 win over against Accrington Tuesday night, they now face a number of teams below them in the standings.

The Dons are down in 22nd, before Town then face Rochdale (17th), Plymouth (23rd), Gillingham (20th) and Bradford (24th) in the next five league fixtures.

When asked if he’s expecting a different test, Jones said: “No, I don’t think so as I think the margins are exactly the same.

“It’s early days, so when you play certain teams who are up the top of the league, they might not be there come February, March, without being disrespectful to anyone.

“I think the margins of the league are very, very close, the ones who are up there at the minute are the ones who are taking chances, who are showing a little bit more consistency.

“Yes there are really strong teams up there when you look at Portsmouth, you look at Peterborough, Sunderland, Barnsley, they have good sides, so you know they’re going to be there for the duration.

“But someone like Wimbledon, they’ve been in the league, they’ve done well last year, they strengthened in the summer.

“Yes, they lost one or two, but they’ve strengthened, so you know that they’re not going to be there long, but what we don’t want to do is give them any kind of bunk up.”

Although the Dons will go into the contest on the back of five straight defeats, while they are the lowest scorers in the division, Jones wasn’t paying any attention to their current troubles.

He added: “We’re more concerned with everything we do and we’re in a different kind of form, but the margins are so, so small.

“If they get a goal early it could gee them up, so what we’ll do is prepare in exactly the same way for exactly the same type of team, because regardless of form, it’s a very tough place to go.

“I know that from probably the biggest learning curve I had in management, losing 4-1 there, when we actually felt we played reasonably well in the middle third, it’s just both boxes we weren’t.

“That was a learning curve for me, so we won’t make that same mistake again.”

Town’s victory on Tuesday night saw them up into the top six for the first time this season, but Jones hasn’t noticed anything different from his players in training this week.

He added: “No, because it’s early yet, we’ve been close, so we’ve just got to keep the continuity going.

“That’s the cliche and it’s been a tough month by the way, we’ve had some real tough games, so to be where we are.

“We’ve shown we’re in decent form and the only defeat we’ve had has been Barnsley, which was a tough one to take, but I can honestly say that I’m not sure we deserved to win that game.

“So it’s been a real tough month, we’ve had a cup game as well in there and were superb against MK Dons, so it’s been a fruitful month so far, but we want to finish it off well.”