The facts ahead of tomorrow's game at Kenilworth Road
The Hatters face a season defining few days as they take on Leyton Orient and Mansfield Town over Easter weekend in Sky Bet League Two.
Tomorrow they face relegation-threatened Orient, who are ten points short of safety with five games to go, and that’s followed on Monday by Nathan Jones’ team's trip to fellow promotion hopefuls Mansfield Town.
The O’s find themselves on their fifth boss of the season, with Omer Riza aiming to steer his side clear of the bottom two places. However, the team he inherited from Danny Webb two weeks ago have now picked up only two wins in 2017 from the 18 games they have played.
(Pictured: The Hatters ran out 2-1 winners at Brisbane Road earlier on in the season, thanks to goals from Cameron McGeehan and Danny Hylton)
Town gaffer Jones is still expecting a tough affair at Kenilworth Road and he doesn’t expect anyone to be in the mindset that it’s three points in the bag even before the whistle for kick-off is blown.
He said: “It’ll be a difficult weekend, anything can happen over the Easter weekend. But that’s what we are looking for – we are looking to put pressure on those around us, starting with the game tomorrow. It’ll be a difficult game, a tricky game actually.
“It’s never like that [beating the team at the bottom of the table with ease], especially with us. Sides come to Luton and raise their game. It’s not going to be a game played on paper. It’s going to be a very difficult game and we know that and we are prepared for it.
"So don’t turn up expecting to win. Turn up wanting to win and get right behind your team because who knows what’s going to happen and how long it’s going to take to do certain things.”
Currently on a two-game winning streak – and aiming to make it three consecutive league wins for the first time this season – the Hatters will be without loanee Ollie Palmer, who is unable to play against his parent club.
(Pictured: Ollie Palmer celebrates his late winning goal against Blackpool just under a fortnight ago)
Jones continued: "Ollie can't play tomorrow, which is not ideal for us as he's been a real bonus impact for us, which is why we brought him in really. He showed that against Barnet for 15 to 20 minutes, getting us on the front foot and up the pitch.
“He’s got a chance of making his move permanent. We want to have variation in our strikers. We have got three under contract, so there is a place available for one, in terms of Jack who is different and small, got a low centre of gravity and plays off the shoulder. Isaac is learning his trade and Danny pretty much does everything at this level.
"So there's a spot for one more there, and he has a minimum four games to take that. I would like to see him score four winning goals, but in terms of him, he just has to be like he has – come on and be aggressive, win his headers and get us up the pitch.
"If he adds goals to that, then that's brilliant, but what we want is a variation of strikers, and if we're going to take a big man, then show he's the one. He's got to show that what he's done in the last two games, he can do on a regular basis. I want to see him pushing to start and doing it from the start as well."
Currently eight points off third-placed Portsmouth, a victory in both tomorrow’s game and Monday’s match at the One Call Stadium will not only help secure the Town’s place in the top seven of the table, but also hopefully cut the gap between themselves and Pompey.
The game will be overseen by Devon based Brett Huxtable, who has refereed 35 games this season, handing out 125 yellow cards and four red cards.
The live wall
will be available on the LTFC website from 1:30pm with all the game updates, whilst Hatters Player subscribers can tune in for full match commentary from just before kick-off at 3pm.
Before the game at Kenilworth Road tomorrow there will be bucket collections at the turnstiles by Leyton Orient Fans’ Trust (LOFT), who are hoping to raise funds in order to try and save their club from the current perilous position they find themselves in.
As something egg-stra special for Easter junior supporters attending the game can get their face painted and a free caramel egg at the Kenilworth Road End of the ground!
And fans in the Oak Road will be able to take advantage of 'Hatters Happy Hour' in the Oak Bar by purchasing draught and bottled beers at just £2 each between 1:30pm-2:30pm! So buy yourself a ticket to help pack out the home section of the Oak and crank up the atmosphere with Hatters fans on all four sides of the ground! You can read all the information on that by clicking here.