Jones excited to draw Baggies in Carabao Cup

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Hatters boss Nathan Jones is excited at the prospect of facing former Premier League side West Bromwich Albion in the first found of the Carabao Cup.

The Baggies were relegated into the Championship last season and are under new management in Darren Moore, who has had an excellent start to life in the hot seat, winning three and drawing two of their final six matches.

On the trip to the Hawthorns, scheduled for the week commencing August 13, Jones, who led Luton to a 3-1 victory over fellow Midlands side Aston Villa at the same stage of the competition in the 2016-17 campaign said: "First and foremost, it’s a very tough draw because West Brom have only just come down from the Premier League, but we are excited by it.

“It’s another chance for us to test ourselves against higher league opposition. We like doing that, and with the history involved in West Brom and a club of the stature that it is, we’ll go there and look forward to the occasion.

“There are similarities to the Villa draw a couple of years ago as it’s another club coming down, and they are a big pull because they are one of the favourites to go back up, so we know that it’ll be a tough game, but it’s definitely one to whet the appetite.

"It’ll be a great test for us, a great place to go and we know we are going to have to be right at it.”

Town last met the Baggies in the Checkatrade Trophy group stage in 2016-17, running out 2-0 winners with goals from Alex Gilliead and Jake Gray.

However, it was a largely U21 side that West Brom put out, despite picking Boaz Myhill, Jonas Olsson, Craig Gardner and Callum McManaman, as Jones continued: "It’s a different cup so it’ll be a different kind of occasion, and this is geared for a different level of competition, but we have met them in cup competitions recently.

"To go to the Hawthorns to test ourselves against an ex Premier League side is a big draw for us. It’s one everyone will be looking forward to.”

The Hatters are just over a week away from returning to pre-season training and Jones is getting ready to go again, adding: "I think we’ll all be ready to go back to work, we’ll all be rested.

"I know myself that I’m well rested and now really itching to get back.

"I’m looking forward to getting the squad all in place, getting back for pre-season and working towards that first spell of the season, which we now know will include a game against such attractive opposition at a top stadium.”