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NATHAN JONES ON TAKING ON NOTTS COUNTY THIS SATURDAY

7 December 2017

Town boss Nathan Jones has played down the impact of this Saturday's fixture against Notts County on the rest of the season as the Hatters look to cement their place at the top of Sky Bet League Two.

Although the gaffer would obviously like to see his side win for a fourth league game in a row, he doesn't see the first against second clash as a marker for the rest of the division to take stock of.

Jones, whose team have lost just once in their last 19 games in all competitions, said: "The worst that can happen to us is we end up in second place after the game and they end up top. It's not the worst thing in the world, but it's a big game and we want to win those games.

"We want to win and they will want to win. Both teams I would imagine would be going out to do that. I don't think it sets a marker down, it's just a big, big game you want to win."

The Hatters are currently on 63 goals for the season in all competitions – making them the top scorers in the top four tiers of English football, one better than Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Although proud of his side's achievements so far this campaign, he understandably stopped short of making comparisons between his own men – who have now won five in a row – scoring 21 and conceding just once in the process – and Pep Guardiola's team.

"We don't compare ourselves to Manchester City, they're on a different planet to us in terms of many things," the Welshman continued. "We're very proud to be the top scorers in the country. That's something we work on, that's something we want to keep going.

"We're a positive side. I don't think Manchester City's goals are going to dry up - I am sure if we can stay one goal ahead of Manchester City this season then I am sure we will be in a good place."

The Hatters find themselves on a better footing on the injury front than last week, as Jones expects to see the return of two key forwards for this weekend.

Jones said: "The squad is slightly healthier than it was last week in terms of people we had out. James Collins has had a full week, Harry Cornick is very, very close. Obviously Scott Cuthbert and Alan McCormack won't feature, but the others are really pushing.

"It's been a tough week because of the games and the training, and we've had to look after them. This is the culmination of a real, real tough week in terms of games, so we've got to ask for one big effort from them and then we can look after them for a couple of days."

The Magpies have picked up exactly the results as the Hatters this season, having won 12, drawn five and lost three Sky Bet League Two fixtures so far this season.

Jones praised the job Notts boss Kevin Nolan has done at Meadow Lane, taking them from relegation candidates to promotion contenders in less than a year.

"With the two sides in terms of points and league status, it's two of the best in the league and there's very little to separate us, only our goals scored separates the two teams.

"Kev's done a fantastic job there. He's got a real good team together, he's recruited well. I know what type of character he is and he's instilled that in the players. So it will be a fabulous game and I hope we play the way we have in these big games lately.

"It's two sides going head to head and I imagine both sides will try and win the game as they've got such a good record as well, so we're looking forward to it.

"A draw might be a good result for them, or for us. In terms of what they have done lately, they're in excellent form, we're on the same points. They've showed they can win away from home as well as at home."


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