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5 December 2016

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The Hatters boss is expecting a tough match

Following on from the Hatters’ progression in the Checkatrade Trophy, Town boss Nathan Jones said he will field a strong side in tomorrow’s knock-out tie against Swindon Town at the County Ground. 

Jones’ side sailed into the next stages of the tournament with wins over West Bromwich Albion and Gillingham, finishing second in Southern Group H, after a defeat to Millwall. 

Promoted from League Two in 2012, the Robins haven’t finished outside of the top eight since their return to the third tier, with Jones expecting a really tough match for his team.

He said: “It’ll be very stern. They are a League One side anyway, so that ups the ante if you like. But they’re a good side, they’re a very expansive side and I am sure they will want to win the game. They have gone out of the FA Cup and I am sure they will want to go forward in this cup. 

“We will go strong tomorrow, we will have a strong side out. One that we won’t change for anything. As I have said I want us to compete in all three competitions, so we put out a side we think we got a chance of winning the game with tomorrow. 

“We know Swindon didn’t have a game at the weekend, so we know they will be fresh. We are looking forward to the game.”

Both Jones and Robins manager Luke Williams held coaching roles at Brighton & Hove Albion, so the Welshman is more than familiar with his opposite number in the technical area tomorrow.

“They have got a lot of players that I know, they have got a Brighton connection because of Luke,” Jones said. “John Obika I have pretty much signed at every club I have been at, we took him at Yeovil, I recommended him to Charlton and then I took him to Brighton.” 

Town were triumphant in their FA Cup second round match against Solihull Moors as in the end they ended up 6-2 winners.

But it wasn’t as easy a win as the score line might suggest, as Town went into the break 2-0 down. The introduction of Stephen O’Donnell in the place of James Justin after half-time proved to be pivotal, as the defender notched two goals and created real problems for his opponents throughout the second 45 minutes.

     Stephen O'Donnell celebrates scoring against Solihull Moors

Jones said: “He gave us a real bit of impetus when he came on, but we just go back to the squad that we assemble. Because when we lose one, we can put someone in and we have that competition now. 

“Stephen was a regular for me, he played every game for me last year, now he has got a bit more competition with the emergence of James, which is good. 

“The important thing is they train at the level that when they get their opportunity they take it and Stephen is a shining example of that.”

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