Jones has his appetite whetted by Boro clash

Hatters boss Nathan Jones is relishing this afternoon's clash against fellow promotion chasers Stevenage.

Saturday, 11th March 2017, 7:56 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:55 am
Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Luton go into the game just two points and one place above their rivals, who have been in superb form of late.

Victory for the hosts, plus favourable results elsewhere, could see Jones’ side break into the top three once more, as the Town chief said: “It’s one of the games that really whets the appetite in terms of everything, league position obviously, the geography with both clubs, both clubs are in very good form so it should be a cracking game.

“We’ve had a big month, February’s been a big month and we’ve come out of it, started this month very well, so we’re looking to continue that.

“I won’t underplay anything, I won’t overplay it. It’s another league game against a side that are in very good form, that are a really good side.

“It will be a difficult game, we know that, but we’ve had plenty of difficult games lately and we’ve come through them well, so we’ll be looking to do that again.”

Hatters have already tasted defeat to Boro this term, when, back in August, Matt Godden scored a stoppage time winner to make it 2-1, moments after Olly Lee’s curler had cannoned off the bar at the other end.

Jones didn’t think the 2-1 defeat that day would have any relevance to this encounter though, as he continued: “It was a disappointing result because we felt we did enough to win the game.

“First half we could have been more than the goal that we were up, but we weren’t, they came out and we still had chances.

“They then scored, and it was a game of lots of chances, we felt we should have got something out of it.

“The manner which we lost was quite disappointing, but that was a long time ago now, so won’t be case of revenge or anything.

“We’re at a different stage of the season. W’ve got 12 games to go and we know we’ve got to win as many as we can to find out where we want to be.”

Opponents Stevenage have given themselves every chance of automatic promotion this term with a sparkling run of form, winning seven from their last eight.

Jones didn’t think it was a shock that the Hertfordshire side are now challenging for honours after a difficult opening to the campaign, saying: “They’re a side in good form, they’ve got a goalscorer (Matt Godden) and they score goals at the right time.

“It’s not a surprise. Nothing surprises me in this league. Other sides have had fantastic runs and as quickly as they’ve had fantastic runs they’ve dropped, so it’s about being consistent.

“They’ve been very consistent, Darren (Sarll) has done a fantastic job there, they’ve got some good players there as well, lets not think it’s any kind of fluke because it’s not and they’re in confident form at the moment.

“They’ve improved too, they’re definitely a better side than when we played them at the start of the season.

“It will be a game of high motivation with both sides wanting to win it for the same reasons. So it’s a great game to be involved in, one we’re ready for and one we’re looking forward to.”

Hatters could be faced with a defence including three former Luton players, with Ronnie Henry, Luke Wilkinson and Fraser Franks all now with Boro.

Jones didn’t expect that to have any sway in the visitors’ favour though, adding: “I don’t know, you’d literally have to ask them.

“Everyone raises their game when they play Luton anyway, so it’s nothing new.

“If they have extra motivation, there’s nothing we can do about that. All we can do is set our team up and there shouldn’t be anymore motivation in the world than the motivation we have to win a football game because the prize is massive.”