Hatters boss Nathan Jones is looking forward to crossing swords with one of his old mentors Chris Powell at Kenilworth Road this evening.
The former England left back was in charge of Charlton Athletic when Jones was the Addicks’ U21 professional development coach between June 2012 and July 2013.
He’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, he’s done a real good job there and did a really good job when at Charlton.Nathan Jones
Powell is now at the helm of Southend United who Town entertain tonight and on coming up against him in the dugout, Jones said: “He’s a wonderful guy Chris and I owe Chris quite a lot to be honest with you.
“He’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, he’s done a real good job there and did a really good job when at Charlton.
“I loved working for him and he gave me a real opportunity there, I worked with Harty (Paul Hart), but Chris was a big influence on me coming to Charlton and then he gave me the autonomy and the decision making ability that I could control that group.
“I think I repaid him with producing players for his first team, but I loved working for Chris and look forward to seeing him.”
Powell, who played over 200 times for the Shrimpers during his career, took over at Roots Hall back in January.
He has masterminded a decent start to the season too, with one win, one draw and one defeat seeing United sit ninth in the table.
Jones continued: “They’re in decent form, I’ve watched their games and they’ll be a real, real tough game, as will any game at this level.
“There’s no gimmes at this level, so we’re going to need to be right at it and hopefully Southend are as well.”
Leading the line for United is expected to be Simon Cox, who has gone for fees totalling almost £4million during his career and opened his account for the campaign in the 2-0 win over Bradford City on Saturday.
Jones is aware it isn’t just the forward to watch out for though, adding: “I don’t think we’ll ever sit here and think their strikers won’t be a threat, because in their own way, everyone will be who we come up against,
“Simon Cox is a threat and they have a few good players, a few ex-Premier League players, Michael Kightly, Michael Tuner, so they’ve got a good squad and a good side.
“We’ve just got to concentrate on ourselves and providing we defend better (than at Peterborough), then we’ll be more than a match.”