The Hatters host the Sky Bet Championship season opener this evening as they welcome Middlesbrough to a sold out Kenilworth Road – with the game also live on Sky Sports.
With the game being shown live on TV, supporters based abroad will not be able to watch the match live on iFollow Hatters tonight. Simon Pitts’ full match commentary will be available though.
Tonight’s game marks both Graeme Jones and Jonathan Woodgate’s first league game in charge of their sides.
Both appointed heading into the summer, Jones takes over a team newly promoted to the second tier, whilst Woodgate will no doubt be looking to get the Riverside Stadium based outfit back up to the big time.
Jones has made seven signings this summer, with the arrival of Callum McManaman, Martin Cranie, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Brendan Galloway, Simon Sluga and Jacob Butterfield, as well as bringing Kazenga LuaLua back to Kenilworth Road.
Middlesbrough have seen Aden Flint, John Obi Mikel and Stewart Downing depart, with the likes of Marcus Browne arriving from West Ham and Marc Bola signing from Blackpool.
Supporters who plan to pick up their season ticket today are advised to arrive at the earliest opportunity to avoid queuing, with the Ticket Office expecting long queues for collections.
With the instalment of recent LED advertising boards, some supporters will have their view from their seats slightly restricted, which the club are working hard to rectify. You can read more info on this by clicking here.
Contactless card machines will be available around the ground at food and drink kiosks, so please utilise these, as your queuing time dramatically decreases!
GRAEME JONES SAID:
Please be aware - these quotes are taken from Graeme’s press conference yesterday
On whether he would settle for one place above the relegation zone come the end of the season: “No, I don’t look at life like that, I don’t look at football like that at all. I want to be competitive in every game, let’s see where it takes us.”
On Middlesbrough challenging for a place in the top six: “You would expect so – I think they were in the Premier League two years ago. Obviously finished a point or a goal outside the play-offs last year. So it’s a difficult challenge, but one you have to relish I think. You need to attack it and enjoy the night, but you only enjoy what you’re doing if you win.”
On his and Jonathan Woodgate’s managerial debuts as ‘young managers’: “I am delighted you’re calling me young, at 49 I will take that! Jonathan is maybe young! Two guys making their managerial debuts, the game wont define us, you hope you’ve got a long career after the game tomorrow, but I know Jonathan wants to win and get off to a good start as much as I do.”
On how he wants his team to play: “Definitely fast, attacking, attractive football. Teams I have been involved with and have coached, I have only ever coached one way and that is to score goals. If you don’t score goals you don’t win games, win titles, you don’t win anything. I think as the years have gone on I have had a much more pragmatic approach to the defensive aspect of the game. So it’s about getting the balance right, as a group, as a unit. With this group of players I promise you will get honesty, hard work and everything they have got. I think the fans know that from the previous years watching the side."
On how he is personally feeling ahead of the game: “I am OK. I have been through different circumstances. I am a process man, so today it’s press conference, it’s training tonight and then tomorrow I will start thinking about the game in different detail. But I am really, really looking forward to it and hoping to get off to a really positive start.”
Now in their third consecutive season back in the Championship, having had a year in the Premier League for the 2016-17 campaign, Boro have had a change of direction after Tony Pulis left at the end of last season. The appointment of former defender Jonathan Woodgate has had a mixed response from Middlesbrough supporters – but through pre-season he has attempted to change the style of play to a more high paced, passing style.
Parking is free at Power Court from 5pm for supporters who have a permit. You can download and print yours off by clicking here.
WHEN AND WHERE?
Kick-off is at 7.45pm at Kenilworth Road on Friday 2nd August.
MAN IN THE MIDDLE?
Oliver Langford will be taking charge of tonight’s game, having overseen 36 games last season, including the League One play-off final between Charlton and Doncaster. Dished out 108 yellow cards and six red cards.
Buy-backs for season ticket holders are available until midday today. Any remaining tickets will only be available to supporters who meet the criteria, which you can find out by clicking here.
If you are a Middlesbrough supporter making the journey to Kenilworth Road this evening, please have a look at our away supporters' guide!
This is the Town’s first meeting with Boro since April 1995, in which the Hatters lost 2-1 away. Earlier on that campaign Town had ran out 5-1 winners at Kenilworth Road. Of our 28 meetings, the Hatters have won 12, drawn six and lost ten.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Tonight’s game will not be live on iFollow Hatters, due to the fact it is live on Sky Sports.
The main blow-by-blow account of the action from Kenilworth Road will be provided via the Match Centre on the club website, which you can access by clicking here. (*Please note that the club's Live Text will appear only by accessing through an internet browser, users of the Luton Town FC app will receive updates from Opta)
The main moments from the game will appear on the Hatters' social media feeds:
Twitter – @LutonTown
Facebook – www.facebook.com/LutonTown/
Instagram – www.instagram.com/ltfc_official/
And of course Simon Pitts will be on hand to provide commentary for iFollow Hatters which you can subscribe to by clicking here.