Luton's Nathan Jones playing underdog role in Huddersfield clash

Canny Nathan Jones is still playing the underdog as Luton prepare for their shot at Premier League glory… with Hatters boss insisting opponents Huddersfield ‘start as favourites again’ in Championship play-off semi

  • Huddersfield face Luton on Monday for a spot in the Championship play-off final 
  • Luton boss Nathan Jones admits Luton are in the midst of ‘something wonderful’
  • Huddersfield manager Carlos Corberan also knows what’s at stake for his side

Ninety minutes separate the Championship’s ‘poor neighbours’ from Wembley and a chance to move into English football’s most exclusive cul-de-sac.

Still it doesn’t quite compute. ‘We pinch ourselves a little bit,’ said Luton manager Nathan Jones after Friday’s play-off semi-final first leg with Huddersfield.

Jones prefers the underdog card even if the tie is perfectly poised at 1-1. ‘They start as favourites again,’ he added. ‘The onus will be on them to win the game at home.’ Mind games or the brutal reality?

Luton manager Nathan Jones is proud of the evolution unfolding at Kenilworth Road

Luton head to Huddersfield on Monday night looking for a win to send them to Wembley

‘We’ve evolved to be a wonderful football team compared to where we’ve come from and we’re still evolving. These were in the Premier League a couple of years ago (2019), they have Premier League players…they paid big money for these from Spanish football. For us to be on the same, level playing field as them shows we’re doing something wonderful.’

Luton could be boosted by the return of top scorer Elijah Adebayo, who has been through cryotherapy and oxygen chambers in an attempt to shake off a hamstring injury. ‘The risk might be worth it,’ said Jones.

Huddersfield boss Carlos Corberan insists he does not have to tell his players what is at stake tonight.

‘They know,’ he said. ‘They know we have 90 minutes where we need to beat Luton to continue in the play-offs.

Huddersfield boss Carlos Corberan says he doesn’t have to remind his players what’s at stake

Huddersfield’s Danel Sinani fired the Terriers in front during the first leg on Friday evening

‘It was important that if we couldn’t win, we didn’t lose and go into the home leg with the possibility that if we win the game, we’ll progress.’

Corberan will hope to have on-loan Chelsea defender Levi Colwill back after he was limited to the role of unused substitute at Luton following an illness which caused him to miss training during the early part of last week.

He lost Ollie Turton to injury at half-time in the game — Pipa took his place — but is yet to rule him out of the second leg.

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