Jones won't be switching off as he eyes a top 10 Championship finish

Town chief not going to become 'flippant' in his team selection during last three matches

Friday, 30th April 2021, 7:01 pm
Updated Friday, 30th April 2021, 7:04 pm
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Luton boss Nathan Jones is determined to pay the Championship full respect with just three games of the season remaining.

The Hatters chief leads his side into action tomorrow at home to Middlesbrough, where a victory for Town would further boost their hopes of becoming a top 10 side.

Should Luton triumph win they could leapfrog QPR and move level on points with their opponents, while still having a game in hand against relegation threatened Rotherham on Tuesday night, putting a first top 10 slot since the 2005-06 campaign in their hands.

Jones definitely won’t be taking anything easy in terms of team selection for the clash either, as he said: “We had a meeting and everything’s got to be intrinsic now because, realistically, a lot of teams in our position would switch off and would maybe be bedding in youngsters or whatever, but that’s not what we want to do.

“We want to finish as strongly as we can because we also remember the position we were in (last season).

“We beat Hull this Saturday coming and, going into the last game with total uncertainty, it’s not that case now.

“It’s just about reaching up a bit higher, finishing higher and that’s totally different, but we also remember where we’ve come from, so the humility in the team and the squad is still there.

“And we also remember a few teams who were very flippant in the final weeks, we will not be that flippant team.

“We’re in a good place we know that, but we know we have a big week ahead.

"It would be a real shame now if we took our foot off the gas and just cruised the last week.

"We want to demand from them this week so we finish strongly and we’ve got three real big games for different reasons, but this is the Championship and they'll be three real tough games."

Defender Tom Lockyer remains out for the season, while there are still doubts over midfielder Luke Berry who missed Sunday’s trip to Bristol City, as on his squad availability for Saturday's encounter, Jones continued: “We’ve got a few bumps and bruises as it was a big game for us at the weekend and we’ve come off the back of three games in a week again.

"We’ve just had to dust everyone down, and we’ve given them a couple of days off this week, training Tuesday and given them Monday and Wednesday off.

"We're back and now we’ve got everyone back at it, so there’s probably a few bumps and bruises but you probably expect that in week 45 of a 46 week season.”

The Hatters can go into the game full of confidence too, four matches unbeaten, with three victories, and winning from 2-0 down away from home for the first time since 1938 at Ashton Gate on Sunday.

When told of that statistic, Jones added: “They’re there to be broken and history is there to be made, so we’re very respectful of the great history of this club in terms of what they’ve achieved.

"I’ve always said as in previous seasons we’ve scored more than a lot of Luton teams and so on and I’m always respectful of the level we were at.

"But now we’re doing good things at a very, very high level and I’m very proud of that.

“I’d heard the stat in recent days, I didn’t know that at the time, but we prefer not to have to come back from two down.

"If we can, it shows that we have something in our armoury, so I'm very proud and anything we can do differently to push us forward we’ll accept all of those.”