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17 March 2017

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Town take on fellow promotion hopefuls Exeter tomorrow

The Hatters face one of their toughest home matches of the season this weekend when they take on Exeter City at Kenilworth Road.

Paul Tisdale's Grecians have picked up more points on the road than any other team in Sky Bet League Two this season, as well as scoring the joint highest amount of away goals in the division – 33 - the same as league leaders Doncaster Rovers.

The 35 points they have notched away from St James Park have helped propel them into the play-off places, to within just a point of the Hatters.

Nathan Jones’ team have only suffered one league defeat in eight matches, but now find themselves seven points short of third placed Portsmouth. A win this weekend could lift them into fourth place, as the current occupants of that position – Carlisle United – make the difficult trip to Mansfield Town.

(Pictured: The Hatters drew 0-0 with Carlisle United on Tuesday night at Brunton Park)

The gaffer feels his side need to put winning the game against the Grecians first, before they even think about enforcing an easy-on-the-eye style of play.

He said: “Whether we put on a show or not is secondary, all I want to do is win the game. If we can win the game and put on a show, then fine.

“The disappointing thing about Stevenage is we didn’t get something out of the game. Our all-round play didn’t deserve it, the amount of chances we created did. But I couldn’t have any complaints really because we weren’t at the level we needed to be.”

This weekend’s fixture means that the Town will have played three teams in the top seven in the space of a week.

“I think on paper it’s tough,” the 43-year-old continued. “But I think every game on paper in this league is tough. We prepare the same way every week.

“It was disappointing against Stevenage, but I wasn’t disappointed with the performance against Carlisle. So if we get the result on the weekend, it won’t have been a disastrous week and then we have got our game in hand that we have got to take advantage of.

“If we are within three or four points of third with eight games to go, it’s a great place to be in. Especially with the squad we have, the form we have been in. So that’s our goal.”

Two of the 65 meetings the Town and the Grecians have contested took place at St James Park earlier on in the season – the initial meeting a 3-1 win for the Hatters in the first round of the Emirates FA Cup, the second a 0-0 draw in the league. In total, Town have won 34 of the 65 games, drawn 14 and lost 17 times.

(Danny Hylton netted a brace in the Hatters' 3-1 Emirates FA Cup win at St James Park)

This weekend’s match will be refereed by East Midlands based Trevor Kettle. In the 28 games he has overseen this season, he has dished out 122 yellow cards and five red cards. He has taken charge of two Town fixtures so far this term, the 1-1 draw at Cheltenham and the 2-1 win at Leyton Orient. 

Tickets for tomorrow's match are still available from the Ticket Office on 01582 416976 or online, which you can access by clicking here. Cash turnstiles will also be available to supporters.

The live wall will be in action tomorrow on the LTFC website for those who can’t make the match, whilst Hatters Player subscribers can tune in for Simon Pitts’ full match commentary from just before kick-off.

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