Luton Town boss Nathan Jones wants his players to take motivation from watching the Cobblers get handed the Sky Bet League Two title trophy at Sixfields on Saturday.
The Hatters were expected to challenge for promotion this season, but their campaign got off to a poor start and despite Jones improving things after replacing John Still in the hot seat, it has been a case of too little too late.
I just think Oxford have got the biggest, strongest squad, but Northampton have been the best team and deservedly won the leagueLuton Town manager Nathan Jones
Luton’s lingering hopes of getting involved in the play-offs were finally extinguished last Saturday when they drew 1-1 at home with Newport County, and they head to Sixfields resigned to another season in the Football League’s basement division.
Jones was quoted recently as saying he saw Oxford United as the club to match in league two, but this week he expanded on that comment, and made it clear he thinks the Cobblers are the best team and deserving winners of the title.
“I said that we want to be the type of team that Oxford have been in terms of where they’ve competed on all fronts, the squad they have, and ironically I don’t think Northampton have the strength in depth that Oxford have,” said Jones.
“That’s not to say they haven’t got a strong 11 or 15, or 18, I just think Oxford have got the biggest, strongest squad.
“But Northampton have just been the best team and deservedly won the league.
“I watched Northampton on a number of occasions before I came here and they are just a very, very good side and it will be a difficult game.
“But if it gives our players motivation watching the cup being presented to a team at this level, then all well and good.”
Since they were crowned champions at Exeter City on April 16, the Cobblers players have been treated to guards of honour by the players and staff of both Crawley Town and Yeovil Town.
Asked if Luton will be doing the same, Jones admitted he didn’t know, but he did say and his players will pay respect to the Cobblers’ achievements - before getting down to the business of trying to beat them.
“I don’t know if we will do a guard of honour, we haven’t planned on anything,” Jones told lutontoday.co.uk
“But we’ll be giving them the respect they’re due, and if it’s something we can do (the guard of honour) then no problem.
“It’s something they deserve, they’re worthy champions, they’ve been the most consistent side all year and have done it playing right, and doing well.
“They’ve got good players, when they’ve had injuries, they’ve strengthened, so all respect due to Chris Wilder and his staff, the club, especially from the adversity they had early on.
“They’ve got to be proud of themselves, and we congratulate them on it, but from three until five we’re going to want to win the game.”