Luton chief wary of prolific Henderson's threat for Dale

Hatter boss Nathan Jones
Hatter boss Nathan Jones

Hatters boss Nathan Jones knows his side are in for a difficult test when they come up against League One’s top scorer Ian Henderson this afternoon.

The 33-year-old Rochdale striker, who had a spell with Luton earlier in his career, is already into double figures for the campaign, scoring 10 in just 16 appearances, following on from a season in which he netted 20 to keep the club in the division.

On facing the experienced frontman, Jones said: “He’s been doing it for years. I remember playing against him when he was at Colchester myself, he’s a very difficult player to play against.

“He was a big part of keeping them up last year and he’s started very well again, so he’s a good player.”

Dale also have another ex-Hatter in their ranks, Calvin Andrew, who began his career at Kenilworth Road, the forward hitting the back of the net twice in 15 matches.

Jones continued: “I know him from playing against him too, he’s a handful as well.

“He’s been in and out a little bit, he’s been a good player, been a real potent player, a real target man for every team he’s played for, so we’ll know him, we’ll prepare accordingly.”

The pair are managed by experienced boss Keith Hill, someone who Jones had a lot of time for, saying: “He’s a good guy, a really good guy, I like Keith.

“I came up against him myself when him and (David) Flitcroft were together (at Barnsley), but it’s a real home for him Rochdale.

“His sides always are good footballers, he very rarely has a direct team.”

Although they have struggled for results at home so far, with five defeats from eight games, a 1-0 win over Charlton Athletic last weekend, means Dale can go into the contest with renewed optimism, as the Town chief had a warning for his side.

He said: “Rochdale are actually in good form. They’re a real difficult side to play against, they really are, so it’s exactly the same whoever we play.

“We’re not going into this game thinking this is going to be easy, it isn’t, as it’s a tough place to go.

“It might have been slightly easier a few weeks ago, but their form has really picked up with certain results.

“They beat Charlton 1-0 last week and thoroughly deserved to beat Charlton.

“I know Charlton missed a penalty, but Rochdale had better chances, so it’s a real, real difficult place and it’s a place you can get hurt if you’re not at it.

“So I just want to make sure that we’re at it and we continue the form as it shows that we’re developing.”

However, Luton themselves are in a superb run of form, with the triumph at AFC Wimbledon last weekend made it six wins from seven in October.

Jones now wants to carry that over to this month, adding: “Last week was a real important win for us and I mentioned it post match, the last game of the month was a tricky one for us as we always seemed to draw it, or not quite finish the month in style.

“So to do it in the manner that we did last week which was thoroughly professional, not fluent but professional and it really pleased me.

“If we play in the manner we did last month then I’ll be very happy and it will take good sides to beat us or to deny us a certain points haul that we think we can get.”