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1 December 2016



1 December 2016

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Sami Hyypia and Matthew Upson visited the training ground

Hatters boss Nathan Jones was joined by two of the big names in English football watching over training at Ely Way this morning, as Sami Hyypia and Matthew Upson observed from the sidelines.

Former Brighton boss Hyypia and ex-Seagulls defender Upson are both good friends of Jones, who was assistant to the one-time Finnish international Hyppia at the Amex, and who coached the now-retired Upson at the Sussex club.

Jones said: “We have had two celebrities watching training today and the biggest thing they said was ‘You didn’t have to do much to get them going’. That’s the group they are. That’s the group I want and I am delighted to have that. 

“Quite frankly they [Upson and Hyypia] wanted to come in and watch us work. I worked with Matty at Brighton and I had a close relationship in terms of coach and player. 

“I did a lot of work with him. He was a consummate professional and a wonderful, wonderful player, the kind of player you want in your side. I was obviously Sammy’s assistant at Brighton and he is a very good friend of mine. 

“He is visiting Arsene Wenger and he decided to come and watch the mighty Luton as well. So he has had a bit of Arsenal, he has had a bit of Luton, hopefully we compare favourably!” 

The pair watched on as Town prepare for their weekend FA Cup clash against National League side Solihull Moors.

Solihull progressed in the competition by beating Kettering Town in the final qualifying round, before defeating Yeovil Town in a replay penalty shoot-out. 

Saturday’s visitors to Kenilworth Road have already sold over 600 tickets for the away end, something Jones was impressed by.

“Six hundred is a lot more than what a lot of League Two clubs bring,” he added. “We will treat it as a normal cup game we are desperate to win. The FA Cup is probably one of the biggest domestic cup competitions in the world and we want to do well.

“We know the rewards, obviously financial and confidence wise from doing well in this competition. 

“You start favourites, but that’s out the window, that’s the romance of the cup. I have watched them play maybe five or six times. It will be a stern test, I don’t think anyone takes anyone lightly anyway. You’d be foolish.” 

The Hatters have mixed up the squad a fair few times during the season so far, as Jones looks to keep his side fresh. 

But with the second half of the season approaching and games not being as frequent, the Welshman is hoping to be able to start having a consistent XI every week, especially in midfield where he has made changes nearly every week.

He said: “We’ve not so much rotated, we have picked sides to make sure that everyone is up to speed and we are now. There’s less of that coming up now, I will be picking sides to win games constantly.

“The margins between those six or seven that we have got in those midfield position is so tight, it’s probably my most difficult decision week in week out.” 

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