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Watch | Nathan Jones' pre-Reading press conference

5 May 2022

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Nathan Jones and his players are one game away from reaching their ambitious target with Reading standing in the way of their hopes of reaching the play-offs.

Final day drama is something the Welshman is used to, given that in two of the last three seasons the Hatters have needed a victory to achieve their target – albeit the last game of the 2019/20 campaign was to secure their status in the Sky Bet Championship.

“That was probably bigger than this game," Jones admitted. “If we had gone down then there would have been fear because of certain things. If we go up, all you look at is optimism because it catapults us to a different level but we’re still on a real good journey if we don’t.

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"If we had gone down, it could have been catastrophic in a number of ways or could have been really problematic moving forward. We had to secure our status, that was probably more important.

“Now this is the most important game but if we had gone down then this game would never have happened really because you would have had to come back up and then you would have had to do it in your first season back up. The possibility would have been there, but the probability probably wouldn’t.”

A win against Paul Ince’s Reading would guarantee a place in the play-offs and it’s an achievement well-merited if accomplished, the Luton boss believes.

“We have worked for this, and we believed we could do this. Yes, we are delighted, yes, it is a wonderful achievement but when you said bold targets and have processes underneath that you believe can accomplish those targets, that is all it is. We’re not sitting here thinking ‘wow, we’re here, what do we do’ we’re thinking this is what we have planned for.

“With a full team and when we’re at it, no team relishes playing us, but we’ve been without that, so that’s why we’ve been in this position. No one has done us any favours because every result that could have got us in, could have helped us, hasn’t, so we’ve had to do it by us, so if we get in, it will be because Luton have won enough games, got enough points, to get in and that’s all we can do.

“Regardless of what's gone on, regardless of anything else, we’ve got to win one football game, I can keep repeating myself, but that’s all we’ve got to do.”


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