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Watch | Nathan Jones' pre-Derby press conference

NJ's thoughts ahead of Derby's arrival at Kenilworth Road on Saturday...

17 September 2020

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Hatters boss Nathan Jones is really pleased with his squad and claims it is the ‘strongest’ that he’s had since being in charge at Kenilworth Road.

Town kickstarted the season with three wins from three and Derby County are next up on Saturday.

Following midweek victory against Reading in the Carabao Cup, Jones will certainly have a selection headache ahead of the game against the Rams, which he admitted was a good thing.  

“We want a competitive squad that gives us those dilemmas, but that’s what you want when you’ve got a group that’s really on the front foot, that wants to do well, wants to test each other, it’s great for a manager and we have that at the minute.

“I think it’s the strongest squad that we’ve had, we bemoaned the fact that we lost two excellent, top, top full backs, but I think we’ve replaced those now, only time will tell how good they can be, but we feel that we’re covered in all areas, we felt that we missed the attacking threat of Jack and James before, but now we feel we’ve got that back with the two we signed. We feel this is the strongest squad that we’ve ever had, it really is and we’re very pleased, still looking to add if we can, but very happy with the place where everyone is.”

Rhys Norrington-Davies played a full 90 minutes once again and provided the assist for Jordan Clark as Dan Potts is ‘still a few weeks off’ getting back to full fitness.

“Just a slow one really, he cracked a bone and it’s taken a little bit longer than we would have liked, but you can’t rush that, we would like him back as soon as possible, to provide the competition in that area, as that’s probably the only area at the minute that we don’t have that real cover and competition.”

Tom Lockyer made his debut for Town at the Madejski Stadium and impressed the gaffer as he helped keep a second successive away clean-sheet this season.

“I thought he was excellent, quite understated, nothing you could say wow, he did that, but I think he was better when I watched the video back than on the night, on the night he just seemed to go unnoticed, but was excellent, filled gaps, won his headers, defended really well, was a steadying influence, but you expect that. He’s an international defender, so we expect him to be a good level, and he’s great lad, so we’re very pleased with where everyone is.”

Looking towards the visit of Derby, Jones was quick to remind the local press that despite the Rams losing their league opener, the Championship is renown for having ‘twists and turns’.

“It’s the Championship and we will say this probably 50 times this year – it’s the Championship. It’s one game in, they’ve won a cup game and lost a league game, they then took the lead, had a player sent-off so it’s very difficult to gauge, it’s so early and we will see at 5pm on Saturday.

“Derby have some wonderful players, some real Championship experience, a lot of youth and quality so extremely difficult game we know that and it’s the Championship so as soon as you mention a Championship game, you know it’s going to be tough, it is going to be unpredictable, there is going to be twists and turns and what we have to do is come out on top of those margins.”

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