Jones' boys go north looking to make it nine unbeaten
The Town travel to Morecambe this weekend hoping to extend an eight-match unbeaten run in Sky Bet League Two that stretches back to the 2-0 defeat at Crawley in mid-September.
Since then the Hatters have drawn five and won three of their league matches, the most recent being a 1-0 home victory over Accrington Stanley last Saturday when Cameron McGeehan scored his ninth goal of the season (pictured below), putting him one behind top scorer Danny Hylton.
That result has kept Nathan Jones’ side firmly in the play-off places, heading to the Globe Arena in fifth position and within touching distance of the automatic promotion spots.
Morecambe on the other hand haven’t won a game since the middle of October – a 2-1 win away at Notts County – and their last home league win came in August, as they defeated Portsmouth 2-0.
Jim Bentley’s Shrimps currently sit 14th, seven points behind the Hatters, and Jones said: “They’re a real dangerous side. They’ve got contrasting form home and away, they’ve got good players and individuals and when I was at Brighton, I went to watch Yeovil against Morecambe, who were 2-0 down at half-time and came out and won 4-2 because of how they play.
“They play slightly differently. They have good little footballers who can play, and we see them as a dangerous side. We’ll treat them like that.”
The Lancashire side’s top scorer Cole Stockton has ten goals, the same number as Hylton (pictured below), who proved a real thorn in Exeter’s side when he last found the net with two penalties in the FA Cup win at St James Park a fortnight ago.
“Danny doesn’t make himself a nuisance just to the opposition, he makes himself a nuisance to every single human being he comes into contact with – trust me on that!” laughed the Welshman.
“We are pleased with what we have with Danny and we know of Kevin Ellison’s strengths, we know of Stockton’s threat and we did know of the Barkhuizen threat until he left, so we know of all this.
“But again, we’ve just got to make sure that Luton Town are right at it.”
Jones hopes to have his Town side right at it for the remainder of the season as he hunts promotion to League One. With the exception of long-term injury casualty Danny Green, he has a fully fit squad to choose from at the Globe Arena.
“It’s an important seven weeks,” said Jones. “On three fronts we are looking to compete and looking to do well. We have got a difficult game against Solihull in the FA Cup – I watched them on Tuesday night and it will be a difficult game – and then away at Swindon in the Checkatrade Trophy, so it’s an important period.
“We take it game by game because we never look forward too far, but if we come out in a similar situation at the end of December as to what we are now, hopefully better and still in both cups, then it will be a fantastic time and we are really looking forward to that second part of the season.
“We set ourselves a target of two points a game, and we are a little bit behind that at the minute, so we have to pick up – but it’s a steady thing.
“Carlisle and Plymouth have set off at a blistering pace. Sooner or later you think that might have to change. If it doesn’t, then all well and good, we’ll have to step up our efforts.
“But in terms of everything I’m happy with where we are and we need to come out of November and December in a real good shape, and I think once we do that, it’ll be an interesting second half.”
Stephen O’Donnell will complete his half-century of appearances for the club if he features at the Globe Arena, while Jonathan Smith – who has the most appearances in the Town squad with 154 and scored at Morecambe last season (pictured above) – could face the club with whom he started his career, although when the 30-year-old was a Shrimps apprentice they were based at their old Christie Park home.
The Town have met Morecambe six times before, winning three including doing the double over the Shrimps last season. Morecambe have come out on top twice, with one match ending in a draw.
The referee for tomorrow’s game is Ben Toner and the Town – who will be wearing the all-white away kit – will be backed by more than 400 fans who have already bought tickets for the four-hour trip to Lancashire, although there will be cash turnstiles available on the day for anyone else wishing to travel.
Concession (65 plus or Student with NUS Card): £17
Juniors (5 to 18): £6
Concession (65 plus or Student with NUS Card): £14
Juniors (5 to 18): £5
If you are not making the trip north, make sure you follow our Twitter feed @LutonTown
or if you’re a Hatters Player subscriber, tune into Simon Pitts’ live commentary from just before the 3pm kick-off.