Luton boss to keep Pompey guessing ahead of season-opener

It appears Kenny Jackett and Luton counterpart Nathan Jones are poles apart when it comes to revealing their team selections.

Friday, 27th July 2018, 1:57 pm
Updated Friday, 27th July 2018, 2:04 pm
Luton boss Nathan Jones

In fact, he revealed the side that takes the field against FC Utrecht tomorrow in their final pre-season friendly of the summer is likely to square up against Luton a week later in League One.

An honest but unsurprising approach from Jackett, who's known not to tinker too much with his sides, whether in pre-season or in full league action.

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Luton boss Nathan Jones

In contrast, Jones is keeping his thoughts closer to his chest as the clock ticks down to the start of the new season.

The League One newcomers took on Norwich in their latest pre-season outing on Tuesday night - a game they lost 3-1.

Included in Luton's starting XI were summer signings Sonny Bradley (Plymouth) and Andrew Shinnie (Birmingham), along with regulars in last season's promotion charge James Shea, Danny Hylton, Jake Jervis, James Rea and Luke Gambin.

Yet Jones, whose side take on Notts County tomorrow at Kenilworth Road before travelling to Bedford Town on Tuesday night for their final pre-season friendly, admitted his latest starting XI was far from the side he admits will face the Blues next weekend.

Pompey manager Kenny Jackett Picture: Joe Pepler

He told Dunstable Today: 'I don't envisage that team being the team that starts (against Portsmouth), but there will certainly be one or two that will be in our starting 11. 

'What we have to do is make sure we're competitive right throughout. 

'Now, we've been brave against a Championship side and pretty much their first XI, and gone with probably not our first XI and that quality has probably told in the end. 

'It wasn't full strength. It was a mixed team, if you like. 

'It was a good test and it's a learning curve. I'm learning and we're learning as a team.'

As well as Bradley and Shinnie, Jones has also added Matty Pearson (Barnsley) and Jorge Grant (Nottingham Forest, on loan) to his ranks.

Going the other way have been Olly Lee (Hearts), Johnny Mullins (Cheltenham), Lawson D'Ath (MK Dons), Jordan Cook (Grimsby) and Scott Cuthbert (Stevenage).

Pompey have brought in six new arrivals this summer - Ronan Curtis (Derry City), Craig McGillivray (Shrewsbury), Louis Dennis (Bromley), Lee Brown (Bristol Rovers), Tom Naylor (Burton) and Anton Walkes (Spurs).