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Club News

JONES ON THE BRACHE, JAMES JUSTIN AND PLYMOUTH

23 February 2017

The Hatters trained at The Brache for the first time today

Hatters boss Nathan Jones spoke of his pleasure at being able to use the new pitches at The Brache before his side move there full-time for training in the near future.

Today was the first time the Hatters have trained at the new training ground since the club started working on the facilities last summer, but the gaffer said it has been worth the wait.

He said: “It’s taken a little bit of time moving in there because we wanted everything to be right, we didn’t want to move down and ruin the pitches.

“We trained our first day down there today and it was wonderful, a wonderful facility. The actual buildings are coming along very well.

“Thursday is our structural day, probably our most important day. We will probably be using it on a Thursday until we can move in properly.

“It shows the club’s ambition and the trajectory they want to take, in terms of the facilities. But they will be a wonderful, wonderful level.”

The Town were able to use the pitches just before an important run of games, in which the Hatters could move into the automatic promotion spots, as well as reach the Checkatrade Trophy final as they take on Oxford United on Wednesday.

Jones has seen his side go without defeat in their five matches this month, with the reintroduction of Stephen O’Donnell back into the starting XI coinciding with the Hatters winning three out of the last four games.

The Town manager said he didn’t drop James Justin for O’Donnell because the youngster was injured or lacking form, more to give him a rest as the Hatters once again enter a busy fixture period.

“He didn’t dip or anything, it was just the right time,” Jones continued. “We have got good competition here. It was the right time probably just to take him out of the firing line a little bit and regroup.

“The trouble is we’ve not been beaten since and we have won almost every game. So what I want to do is keep a little bit of continuity towards the real business end. But James will play lots of games, he is a wonderful, wonderful talent.

“I have spoken to him today about the situation and he’s fine with it. It’s difficult for him I know, but he will play. We have got three games in a week and I am pretty sure James will play a part in these games, from the start.”

The first of those three games is against one of the pace setters in the division this season in the form of Plymouth Argyle, who currently occupy second in Sky Bet League Two.

Jones wants to narrow the points difference between his team and Derek Adams’ men, who have only taken a point from their last two matches while the Hatters were beating Hartlepool 3-0 and drawing 1-1 at leaders Doncaster.

The Welshman said: “We can’t make inroads into the top three without playing them really, because the form that they’re in, the form that we are in, we’re winning, they’re winning. Yes we are in good form, but it would be nice to make real inroads into the gap.

“The only way we can do that is by playing them and beating them. We felt we were good value for a win last week. I wouldn’t say Doncaster got out of jail, because that would be unfair to them, but we were comfortable.

“We were disappointed we didn’t come away with three points. It’s another opportunity, against a really good side, to make inroads into the gap.”

Hatters Player subscribers can watch Jones’ full press conference by clicking here.

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