Boss Nathan relishes his "biggest home game yet"
The Hatters aim to make it ten league games without defeat tonight as they take on fellow promotion chasers Portsmouth in front of the biggest crowd of the season so far at Kenilworth Road.
More than 8,500 tickets have already been sold, including almost 1,000 travelling from the south coast for the match that pits fourth against fifth in the Sky Bet League Two table.
Cash turnstiles will be in operation for Luton fans tonight in all areas of the ground apart from the Oak Road End.
There will be NO pay on the day for Portsmouth fans, however. Pompey supporters wanting to buy a ticket can purchase over the phone – by calling 01582 416976 – up to 5pm this afternoon.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference yesterday, Town boss Nathan Jones said: “It’s the biggest one I’ve managed at home with Luton, and it’ll be fantastic with the away end full.
“We had a good crowd when we played Cambridge in my first game as manager last season, and this will be slightly bigger than that.
“The players have to handle that, and we are handling the home atmosphere, we are handling any atmosphere we get away from home, so we are really looking forward to the game. I imagine the crowd are too.
“The crowd have been superb for us, home and away, and we are going to need them. I envisage a fantastic atmosphere, and what we want to do is give them a performance that they can get right behind, so we are looking forward to a good night.
“It’s another game, but it’s a game we want to win.”
Town continued their impressive nine-match unbeaten run with a win on Saturday against Morecambe at the Globe Arena, as Danny Hylton notched his 11th goal of the season and Isaac Vassell scored his first professional goal in the 2-0 victory.
Between Hylton and Cameron McGeehan, the pair have notched 20 goals in all competitions as the Hatters continue to maintain pace with the front runners in League Two.
Jones’ side had been letting in at least a goal a game for two months, with no clean sheet recorded in the league between the 3-0 win at Cambridge on 27th August and the 0-0 draw at Notts County on 29th October.
But three clean sheets in a row has seen the Town take over the crown as the tightest defence in the league, having only conceded 15 goals. That record has helped the Hatters move top of the goal difference charts, with the plus-12 being one better than anyone else.
Portsmouth aren’t far behind in the table, just one place with two less points, but victory for the Town would push them five points clear of fifth place and potentially into an automatic promotion spot, with third-placed Doncaster not in action tonight.
“There’s a lot been made of not so many clean sheets, but we’ve a very good defensive record so we weren’t worried when people nick a goal against us or we concede a goal, because we know that’s going to happen,” said Jones.
“But we are in decent defensive form and we are happy with that, so if we can continue that, it’s always good because I always fancy us to get a goal.”
Pompey were beaten play-off semi-finalists last term, and Jones added: “Portsmouth are a good side. They’ve been together a long time now. Paul Cook has had them, and had a crack at it last year.
“They just fell short slightly but they’ve added quality to the side, so they’ve improved since last year. It’s a good squad.
“They are one of the favourites and they have similar pressures to us in terms of playing, but it’s a game we are looking forward to. They are a stern test, but so are we.”
Overall, the Hatters hold a slight advantage in 79 meetings between the two sides with 33 wins to Pompey’s 31. Fifteen matches have ended all-square.
Referee for tonight’s game is David Coote, and kick-off is 7.45pm.
Ticket prices and admission prices are as follows:
- Adults: £23
- Young adult (18-21): £18
- Senior (65-plus): £18
- Golden Senior (75-plus): £15
- Youth (10-17): £11
- Accompanied U10s: £8
Anyone who can’t make it to Kenilworth Road tonight can follow live updates on Twitter @LutonTown, or subscribers to Hatters Player can listen to Simon Pitts’ excellent commentary from just before kick-off.
A match report, picture gallery and interviews with Nathan Jones and Town players will be online after the game.