Town chief knows Cardiff winger Murphy will be a handful

Cardiff winger Josh Murphy
Cardiff winger Josh Murphy

Luton boss Graeme Jones knows that Cardiff winger Josh Murphy is one of the Bluebirds’ biggest threats ahead of this afternoon’s clash.

The 24-year-old headed to Wales for a fee believed to be around £11 million last June from Norwich City.

Murphy, who made 29 appearances in the Premier League last term, scoring three times, started last weekend’s 3-2 defeat at Wigan Athletic, as Jones, who was in attendance on Saturday, said: “The two wingers were really, really quick, Josh Murphy on the left, the boy (Nathaniel Mendez-Laing) on the right, they were a bit of a handful.

“I worked with his brother Jacob Murphy at West Brom and they are so similar as players, winners, right-footers, coming inside, lightning quick, so we will make sure our team is aware of the threats and look forward to the game.

“We need to be aware of them, but there’s certainly nobody that I fear.

“Myself and the boys don’t enter a football pitch thinking like that.

“We have to be respectful of the opposition but we also have to look at ways to hurt them, so it’s part of the preparation for the game.”

It’s not just Murphy that Town need to look out for though according to Jones, with Cardiff spending big money on bringing in defender Aden Flint from Middlesbrough in the summer.

They also have Omar Bogle up front, plus £4m midfielder Leandro Bacuna as well, while the Luton chief didn’t think their relegation from the top flight will have any effect on Saturday’s performance

He continued: “They have Premier League physicality, which nobody speaks about.

“You see that Championship physicality as Middlesbrough showed and we showed on Friday, but Cardiff have got real Premier League physicality.

“There is no way that they’re going to be ‘easy pickings’ on Saturday (after being relegated).

“Just the character of the man means he will get a performance out of them, he will get 100 per cent effort, so if we are going to get anything at Cardiff, we will have to earn it ourselves.”

After beginning with a 3-3 draw against Middlesbrough last Friday night, Jones was pleased that his side showed they didn’t look out of place at the next level, having won League One last term.

He added: “The most important thing for me is, could we compete at that level? And we did.

“All I spoke about since coming into the job is being competitive and we were competitive.

"We better be competitive on Saturday because that’s where I see us now, and let’s see where that takes us.

“It’s game-on-game. If anybody can tell me what’s going to happen this weekend, I keep repeating myself, they are better men than me.

“The other correlation I saw in the league at the weekend was wins everywhere.

"I think we are the only team drew, so it tells you about the league, there’s people going for it, there’s winners and losers.

“I don’t care if it’s at home or if it’s away, we have got to get the preparation correct, make sure the players are aware of the style they’re going to face.

“It will be a different style to Middlesbrough, that’s this league.

“We need to adapt, we need to be willing to adapt.

“We also need to assert our own style on the opposition. I address each game on it’s own merits and I will on Saturday.”