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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: NEWPORT COUNTY AFC V LUTON TOWN

16 March 2018

The Hatters head to south Wales tomorrow looking to get back to winning ways against Newport County AFC, after a tough run of games in Sky Bet League Two that has seen Nathan Jones' side pick up one win in their last six.

However, just two of Town's final nine league games of the season are against teams in the top nine as Nathan Jones' side aim to re-establish their strong position in the automatic promotion places, buoyed by Tuesday night's fightback from 2-0 down at half-time to take a point from the trip to Coventry City.

A win tomorrow could lift the Town back to the summit of the fourth tier, depending on how Accrington get on against Forest Green Rovers.
After two consecutive 22nd placed finishes, the Exiles currently sit in 11th place – just six points off the top seven – with ten games to go.

A side reenergised under former player Mike Flynn, the 37-year-old saw his side get off to a good start to the current campaign, which they maintained until mid-January, since when they have only won one match in their last eight. That victory came at Yeovil Town last Saturday, but they did take Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur to a replay at Wembley in the FA Cup fourth round, having already knocked out Leeds United.

THE GAFFER SAYS:

On the Newport test: "It's an extremely tough one. It's always a tough game when you go to Newport for all sorts of reasons. We have no doubt we're going to get another stern test on Saturday. We'll be ready for it.

"The games are coming thick and fast which we kind of like because it was good to get the Accrington result out the way and bounce back. We haven't lost two on the spin all season, so it was good to do that [get the draw on Tuesday]. Now we build, we finish the month strongly and then we go into the final furlongs in good spirits.

On Newport's pitch: "It's a lot better, trust me on that. It's a Desso pitch, because they know two teams are going to play on there. So how it's held up I don't know, you can see from the video there's grass on there, which is a massive improvement from last year, because there wasn't. We cant be concerned with that. We have to make sure we pick a side that can go there in whatever conditions and get the result that we need."

On Town and Newport's form: "We haven't won in four games either, so something might have to give. But it's just one of those things, they've had a lot of games.

"They had the FA Cup game, pretty similar to us. Teams at this level and the level above have dips every now and then, but it's how you come through them. We have got to make sure we come through it slightly better than they do."

Click here to read what Jones had to say on Scott Cuthbert returning from injury, as well as his thoughts on international call-ups for Flynn Downes and Luke Gambin.

WHO?

A fairytale ending to last season saw the Exiles survive in the final minute of their last game when former Hatter Mark O'Brien curled home in superb fashion to ensure Newport beat Notts County and remained in the EFL. Defensively robust and good going forward, the architect of County's late season burst, Mike Flynn, put together a strong side in the summer with shrewd pieces of business that have seen him strengthen the spine of his team.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Kick-off is at 3pm on Saturday 17th March at Rodney Parade.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for tomorrow's clash are available for purchase from the LTFC Ticket Office until 2:30pm today, but will also be available on the day at Rodney Parade. Tickets bought at Newport have no extra cost.

PLAYED BEFORE?

Of the 62 meetings between the teams, the Hatters have won 31, drawn 16 and lost 15. The last of our meetings came back in September, when the Town ran out 3-1 winners at Kenilworth Road.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

You can follow the Hatters' Twitter feed on @LutonTown, or stay up to date on the LTFC website in the match centre. iFollow Hatters subscribers can tune in for Simon Pitts' match commentary, whilst international subscribers can watch the game live. You can subscribe to iFollow Hatters by clicking here... and supporters who are overseas can buy an individual match pass for the live video stream via the Match Centre.


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