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THE GAFFER: TOP THREE IS THE TARGET

15 December 2016

The Hatters boss on his targets and formations

Town boss Nathan Jones said his side only have eyes for the automatic promotion spots as he tries to find the winning formula with his choice of formation.

The Hatters travel to Blackpool this Saturday, with a win for Jones’ side meaning they could leapfrog Portsmouth into fourth, but a loss could see them drop out of the top seven.

Last week the gaffer opted for three centre-backs against Carlisle, and apart from an early blip in which they conceded, Town looked comfortable and for long periods were the better side.

Speaking at his press conference earlier on this afternoon, the Welshman said: “We play a certain way. In recent weeks we haven’t been as fluent in that shape (4-1-2-1-2) apart from Morecambe, so we have always got two shapes.

“We have got our default shape which is the diamond, and then the other shape we use.

“I have to pick shapes to win games and we found out that sides that don’t normally do a lot of work, do a lot of work when they come to Luton, why not try to be a little bit unpredictable and to create our own problems.”

Currently fifth in the Sky Bet League Two, Town have been in and around the top positions since the beginning of the season, but Jones wants his side to firmly focus on breaking into the top three.

He said: “[Our target] is not to stay in the play-offs, it’s catch the top three. We have a goal here this year, I think we have been in the top five since day one apart from one week.

“Our performances have merited a few more points than what we have got, but there’s a good pace being set by the top six or seven. We want to be top, but there are only 20 games gone, so we have got 26 games to go and we are looking forward to every one of those games.

“We believe we will be strong in the second half of the season because of the way we train and the squad we have, so it’s important we stay in there. But the quicker we can catch them, hopefully we can overtake them.”

This season Town have tried to play an open and attractive style of play, with an emphasis on trying to win every single game.

Jones felt on balance at times that style has worked against his side, but for the most part it is a positive point for his squad.

“We are never negative, to be fair it has been to our detriment and it’s been to our favour,” Jones continued. “Away at Stevenage, we were comfortable, we were dominating the game and we really went for the win and we got hit in the 96th minute with a sucker punch.

“Against Newport at home we went down to ten men and still kept two up front and went for the win and got the win.

“So there are plusses and minuses, so you have to have a balance. We are in good form and we are a difficult side to beat. We have a good structure to us. We know the plan we have. Everything we do is not sporadic or luck.

“If we stick to that structure and are a little more clinical we will pick up more points.” 

Hatters fans have snapped up almost 850 tickets for Saturday's game, and they are still available from the ticket office until 2pm on Friday, in person and on the phone on 01582 416976.

Tickets can be collected from Luton Town ticket office until 5pm on Friday or arrangements for them to be available for collection from Blackpool on the day can be made.

You can also purchase tickets on the day from the away booth, which will take cash only.


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