Preston North End must expect Luton Town repsonse after Nathan Jones verdict on his team
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The Hatters were dumped out of the Carabao Cup after a 3-2 home defeat, having taken the lead twice.
That result follows up two draws for Nathan Jones’ men, having opened with a 0-0 draw with Birmingham City then a 1-1 draw with Burnley.
Luton made 11 changes to their side for the cup clash, and it is unlikely any will keep their place for the weekend.
Their Welsh boss gave a scathing assessment of his charges after their defeat to Newport.
He feels his side let themselves down without the ball and has strong claims for where they rank with their work out of possession.
He said: "We’re very good out of possession, we’re one of the best sides in the Championship out of possession, and I've said that in there."I think one or two of them on Tuesday were very naive in certain aspects of their play that allowed Newport to win the game.
“We’re very tight in Championship games."Against Burnley at the weekend, they had the lowest expected goals in the Championship as we’re one of the best teams and we defend properly, and we didn’t defend properly on Tuesday."We gave the ball away too easily, too cheaply, naively and then allowed them to score. We don’t do that, that’s not how Luton Town go about their business."We pride ourselves on that, the group that played tonight have to get up to that level otherwise they don’t play.“Those players know that if they want to play for Luton Town they’ve got to be better out of possession, because we are as good as anyone out of possession.”
Luton were one of the surprise packages in the Championship last season as they sealed a play-off spot.
They were good value for that position having recruited smartly going into the season and having had the consistency of Jones at the helm.
He is in his second spell as boss at Kenilworth Road, having left them to join Stoke City as the Hatters looked set to be promoted from League One, which they achieved.
He returned to the club in 2020 and has not looked back since, improving on their league position every season – though he will have a tough task to do it again this campaign.
North End generally don’t travel well to Luton and are winless in their last five at Kenilworth Road, losing four.
Their last visit was a particularly difficult evening, battered in the pouring rain 4-0 with the club refunding supporters that made the midweek trip.
A win away this weekend woould be the first in 23 years.
Luton have completed a mini raid of relegated Barnsley this summer, taking forwards Cauley Woodrow and Carlton Morris from the League One side as they continue their trend of savvy shopping.
Elijah Adebayo will be the focal point of their attack however, the young English striker who attracted plenty of plaudits last season, with the ever tricky Harry Cornick buzzing around him looking to create.