Jones wants Town to get used to the big boys

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Hatters boss Nathan Jones wants his side to get used to playing the big boys when Sunderland take to the field at Kenilworth this afternoon.

The Luton chief began in front of over 19,000 when they visited Portsmouth last week and welcome easily the biggest side in the division,

He sai'd: “It will be a good atmosphere, for our fans first and foremost, but Sunderland I would imagine will bring a few as well.

“It will be a proper football game, but these are not just one off occasions now, these are what we have to start getting used to quickly, because we don’t just want to stop here.

"We want all the big sides to be coming to Kenilworth Road and to do that we have to make sure we perform very, very well.

"So the Pompey’s and the Sunderland’s, lets make sure we enjoy it, but you only enjoy it really if you get something out of the game and that’ what we want to do.”

Jones conceded that the Black Cats are probably the favourites for promotion this season, although wasn't using the resources at the Stadium of Light as the reason behind that.

He continued: "What I don’t like is saying what people used to say about us with the biggest budget, they’ve got to be the biggest budget, so they’ve got to be this, they’ve got to be that.

"Sunderland have got a massive budget, it’s not their fault, they’ve fallen on some hard times in terms of league things and they’re the big, big club in the division.

"So its difficult, because yes they’ve got a bigger budget than everyone else, but one they’ve got to get the right type of player and to do that they’ve got to handle that expectations.

"It's a difficult job, yes, you’d want the money to spend their manager has, but he still has to put a winning team out, still has to gel, still has to keep people happy.

"So they are probably favourites because of the size of the club and the budget, but along with that comes a lot of pressure and think there’s a lot of good sides who still challenge."

Charged with returning Sunderland to the Championship is former St Mirren boss Jack Ross, who took over in May, as on his appointment, Jones said: "I think he's done a fantastic job at St Mirren, he’s earned his opportunity because it would be easy for Sunderland to get a name or someone who's tried and tested.

"But he's a young manager, he got promotion with St Mirren and has earned an opportunity.

"I don't want him to take any kind of opportunity this season as we want to do well, but I'm glad that people like that are getting opportunities."

Ross has already brought in a number of new faces on Wearside, as Jones added: "They’ve got a massive squad, people already there who were there in the Premier League, probably got a few on the wages still.

"They're in a transitional stage but they've signed well, Charlie Wyke, Luke O'Nien, Chris Maguire, all experienced at the level or know the level.

"It''s not like they've gone and bought ridiculously expensive players, they've tried to do it right, tried to cut their cloth accordingly albeit with a healthy budget.

"They're a threat, they'll be be a big threat, they're a good side and there'll be there or thereabouts,

"I would like to finish above Sunderland and if we do that, we have a great chance of getting up."