Manager Nathan Jones and his squad are eager to impress in Saturday’s match against Watford, knowing full well the importance of the fixture from a fan perspective.
Following a 3-1 comeback victory against Wycombe Wanderers last weekend, the Hatters have had a week to prepare themselves for the arrival of rivals Watford, a fixture that hasn’t been played on home soil since 2006.
“It is a massive game and it is a game the fans get behind," the gaffer began. “The board love these games, we love these games and it is a real shame there are no fans because it is a game that fans really love. I know they will be talking about it anyway but imagine the atmosphere around the place, around the town. It is a shame they can’t be here but it is still a massive, massive game. It is a local derby, we’re proud that we are coming up against them because four or five years ago, we were three or four leagues apart so to be on the same stage as them is wonderful. There is great history between the two clubs, great rivalry and we are looking forward to the game.”
Continuing, Jones said: “I hope it is a rip-roaring derby, I hope we win and it is a rip-roaring derby, played in great spirits and great competitiveness. It is a wonderful game to look forward to and I think the early kick-off actually helps it, everyone will be up and about with no time to think about it.”
Whilst the match is unlikely to hold any implications for Luton at either end of the table, there is plenty of motivation to avenge loss at Vicarage Road earlier this season since progressing during the course of the campaign.
“We have achieved progression because we are two points ahead of our tally last year so we have had a points progression with six games to go. Anything we get now is even further progression in terms of a points total. In-house we feel we have progressed because at the end of last year, to achieve results we were very pragmatic in terms of our set-up and how we went about it.”
On a personal note, the 47-year-old added: “I’m not a manager who likes losing games and say okay we’re just planning, so there’s a little bit of reality that says we do want to move forward, but we also want to finish strongly this season, so it doesn’t peter out. I want to be a side that teams look at think they’ve gone right to the end, I don’t want to suddenly have a flamboyant system, be a bit flippant in our performances and I also don’t want to come off the gas as there's some important games and Saturday is as important as they come.”