The Hatters look to build on the record-breaking opening day win over Yeovil tomorrow when they make the short trip to Barnet for the second game of the Sky Bet League Two campaign.
Nathan Jones and his side suffered their first defeat of the campaign in midweek, going down 2-0 to Championship side Ipswich Town in the Carabao Cup.
But the Town chief was delighted by how his team played against their second-tier opponents, however, and will be hoping the good performances continue in north London as we return to league action at the ground where Olly Lee - who this week became a dad for the first time - netted the winner against his former club on our last visit in April.
THE GAFFER SAYS:
On the health of the squad: “We came through Tuesday’s game with Ipswich unscathed and we’ll have one or two coming back, so we should be not far off full strength. Dan Potts and Isaac Vassell both trained today (Thursday) so providing they don’t have any adverse reaction then they will be in the squad.
“James Justin and Danny Hylton both trained fully today and we did a practise match with the youth team to give them a few more minutes and opened up play. They’ve trained well. Hylts is a bit frustrated because he wants to be 100 miles an hour all the time, but he’s in a good place and we are. It’s a decision as to whether we pop them in the squad for the weekend, or they’ll be available for the Tuesday game in the Checkatrade Trophy.
“Providing there’s no adverse reactions, they’ll get minutes on Tuesday night – that’s the game we’ve earmarked for them – but they have both trained for two weeks now, so it’s a fine line whether we are holding them back, or just letting them go slightly early. We’ll gauge that and probably put them in the squad and see where we are.
“Lawson D’Ath has just getting a bit of pain in his leg, but there’s been no fracture, so that’s a positive. He’s got a little bit of bruising that needs to go.”
On building on last week’s great start: “We want to continue that momentum now. Barnet are in good form. They’ve had a very good pre-season – my mate rang me up and said ‘Look, without being disrespectful, these will be surprise packages’, so it’ll be a difficult game. We know that, they are in good form. They have a number of individuals who can hurt you, but collectively they are in good shape at the minute and we know we are going to have to be right at it – but so are Barnet.”
On the potential for there to be 2,400 Hatters at The Hive after 600 extra tickets were released earlier in the week: “That’s crazy. We talk about environments and Championship clubs and stuff, and that would be right at the top end of the Championship away following. I know it’s local, but still, that’s absolutely phenomenal. It doesn’t shock me.”
iFollow Hatters subscribers can see the gaffer's press conference from yesterday here
Barnet are in their third season back in the EFL after succeeding the Hatters as Conference champions in 2014-15, and will be hoping to improve on last term’s 15th place finish.
They are now managed on a permanent basis by the youngest manager in the EFL in Rossi Eames. The 32-year-old had two spells as caretaker last season, first after Martin Allen left to join Eastleigh last December, and then again to the end of the season after they parted company with ex-Hatters assistant Kevin Nugent in April.
The Bees started the season with a point at Forest Green last week, fighting back from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw, then they shocked League One Peterborough in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night, winning 3-1 at London Road to book a second round trip to Premier League new-boys Brighton.
WHEN AND WHERE?
Kick-off is at 3pm tomorrow at The Hive, Camrose Avenue, London HA8 6AG.
Barnet have issued the following information for us to share with travelling Town fans:
‘Barnet FC are looking forward to welcoming the travelling Hatters this Saturday to The Hive London.
Luton Town fans will be situated in the North Stand and some will be in the West Stand, but no matter where you are located, you will have access to a bar.
Those in the North Stand will have access to Bar 66, the newest bar at The Hive, and those in the West Stand will be able to use the Jubilee Bar. Both bars will be showing the live lunchtime Premier League game.
The tea huts in these sections will also be open serving a range of hot and cold food and drinks.
The bars, tea huts, turnstiles and away ticket office (located behind the North Stand) will all be open from 12:30.
The car park at the stadium will be open, costing £5 per car. The Hive London is also a 10 minute walk from Canons Park Station on the Jubilee Line and directions are clearly signposted.
We hope you enjoy your brief stay in North London and wish you a safe trip to and from the game.’
Prices are as follows for the ALL TICKET game:
Adult: £25 West Stand (all 1,800 tickets in the North Stand have sold out)
Seniors (65+): £14
Young Person (18-21): £14
Junior (Under 17): £5
All Disabled/Ambulant tickets need to be purchased directly from Barnet, who you can contact on 020 8381 3800.
You can purchase tickets from the ticket office in person, over the phone on 01582 416976 or online, which you can access by clicking here.
LAST TIME WE PLAYED?
The Hatters completed a league double over the Bees last season, with Alan Sheehan, Cameron McGeehan and Alex Gilliead on target in a 3-1 home win on New Year’s Eve, then Olly Lee struck the only goal against his former club when we travelled to The Hive in early April. Overall we’ve met Barnet on eight occasions, winning six and suffering defeat once.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
If you're not able to make it to The Hive tomorrow, follow the Hatters' Twitter feed on @LutonTown. iFollow Hatters subscribers based in the UK can tune in for Simon Pitts' full match commentary, whilst subscribers abroad will be able to watch the game live providing they have a season or match pass.