Jones wants a 'carnival atmosphere' at Kenilworth Road

Town's players celebrate promotion on Saturday
Town's players celebrate promotion on Saturday

Hatters boss Nathan Jones is hoping for a ‘carnival atmosphere’ when his promotion-winning side take to the field to face Forest Green Rovers this afternoon.

With a bumper crowd of over 10,000 expected at Kenilworth Road to cheer on their side who sealed a return to League One by drawing at Carlisle United last, the Luton chief wants to make it an occasion to remember.

He said: “They deserve that the fans. I want it to be a real party, carnival atmosphere and I want us to respond to that.

“I don’t want us to just be in party mood, what I want it to be is a party atmosphere where the fans get the lift, they don’t need the players to lift them, they lift the players and then the players respond to that and if we do that, then it will take some side to beat us.”

Jones is also relieved there is something on the game, as with leaders Accrington losing at Newport on Tuesday night, Town’s slim chances of winning the title remain.

Although Jones appreciates it’s a long shot at best, Stanley needing just a point from their final two matches, with Luton having to win both of their remaining fixtures, he continued: “There’s an opportunity, when it’s still mathematical, it’s alive.

“It’s going to be difficult, because Accrington have been in wonderful form, they’ve only lost one in I don’t know how many, to then lose three in a week would be very difficult, but this is football and things happen.

“We’ve got to rely on someone slipping up, but I’m pleased really as it just keeps the focus on this weekend.

“I didn’t want this weekend to be a party and a non-event if you like and a celebration, I think it can be a celebration and I want it to be a celebration, but not just that.

“I want there to be something on the game, I want there to be an edge on the game, in terms of something that really keeps us focussed and that’s what we’ve got, so I’m pleased with that.

“I want to finish the season strongly, regardless of if Accrington got their point, I wouldn’t want us to finish on 84 or 85 points anyway, I want us to finish on more than that.

“I want to finish strong, as one it gives us momentum going into next year, while our fans deserve that, our players deserve that, and it’s in our DNA to be professional, to be winners and to go out and be as on it as we possibly can.

“For us to take our foot off the pedal now, goes against everything we’ve done.”

Jones also believes it has been business as usual around the club ahead of the match after the celebrations at Brunton Park on Saturday, with the players then enjoying the presentation evening the following night too.

He added; “It’s been a relatively normal week apart from obviously the happiness and the relief of getting over the line.

“In terms of everything else, it’s been a normal week.

“We’ve trained normally, so it’s a cliche, but in the background we know that one we’ve achieved the first part of what we wanted to achieve this season and that’s a fantastic achievement.

“Saturday, I celebrated and everyone celebrated together, Sunday, we had the player of the year do, the supporters club one and the players had another day and then we just prepared on Monday.

“We were back at it Tuesday, Wednesday we had a day off and come back in today (Thursday) and been as sharp as we always have been, so it’s been a normal week.”