Jones: Don't build up Oxford clash due to Hylton and Mullins' involvement

Hatters boss Nathan Jones doesn't believe that tonight's Checkatrade Trophy semi-final clash with Oxford United should be billed as a grudge match for the likes of Danny Hylton and Johnny Mullins.

Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 4:58 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:23 am
Hatters striker Danny Hylton

The pair both left the Kassam Stadium in the summer to move to Kenilworth Road, with this evening’s game the first time they have come up against their former side.

Jones said: “Lets not build it up anymore than it is. They were real big parts of Oxford’s promotion last year, that’s why we signed them because we knew that they could do it at this level.

“They didn’t leave Oxford under any kind of acrimonious circumstances or any bad feeling, so it’s just two players playing against their old club.

Town defender Johnny Mullins

“I would imagine they were very popular members of the Oxford squad and as they are ours. So it will be no different for them playing against Rotherham or anyone like that because they were there as well.”

Meanwhile, Mullins was quick to praise the impact of Hylton since signing for Luton, as he is one away from reaching 20 goals for the season, the first time he would have done so in his career.

The defender continued: “You can just see he’s got that air of confidence about him and he’s just playing with real swagger.

“It’s great to see and I’m enjoying watching him play.

Town defender Johnny Mullins

“He’s a pain in the backside and always will be. That’s Hylts, he’s such a nuisance. But that all comes from a good place with Hylts, if you know him.

“He’s a lovely lad, opposition teams and managers won’t think that, but he’s brilliant, and he’s like that every day in training.

“Everything’s down to hard work and I’m so pleased that he’s reaping the rewards and long may that continues.

“Hopefully he can turn up and do the goods as he has been doing all season and shoot us through.”

Meanwhile, James Justin was left in awe at just how good a signing Hylton had been for the Hatters, adding: “It’s incredible, any game at any time he can just flick a switch and have a goal.

“It’s the same with Vass (Isaac Vassell) to be honest, Ollie Palmer coming on, Jack Marriott coming on too. They can just flick a switch and get a goal, it’s priceless really.”

Meanwhile, Mullins, like manager Jones, is hoping the fans play their part at Kenilworth Road this evening, adding: “If we can really get the place rocking, maybe they can be our 12th man the fans.

“I can’t keep saying it, but to get there (Wembley) again is a hell of an achievement. The way this competition has gone for the club, it’s built up and built up and would be great to finish the job off.”