Nathan Jones on title favourites Sunderland and how pressure could work in Luton favour

Sunderland striker Josh Maja celebrates his goal in the opening day win over Charlton Athletic.
Sunderland striker Josh Maja celebrates his goal in the opening day win over Charlton Athletic.
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Luton Town boss Nathan Jones believes the pressure is firmly on League One title favourites Sunderland

Jones - who was tipped for the Sunderland job last season - believes Jack Ross faces a difficult job managing the weight of expectation on the Black Cats this campaign following their relegation from the Championship.

Sunderland are the biggest club in League One with the biggest playing budget and have so far added 12 new signings to the squad as part of a major summer overhaul.

Jones hopes the level of expectation on the Sunderland squad will have an impact when the two sides meet on Saturday.

But Ross will be confident his side, buoyed by the opening day 2-1 victory over Charlton Athletic, will have enough to come away from Kenilworth Road with a positive result against one of their rivals.

The Hatters have been tipped by many to be one of the promotion contenders, though they tasted defeat away to Portsmouth on the opening day, suffering a 1-0 loss.

Jones said: “It’s difficult to know if they are favourites for the title. What I don’t like is mentioning what people used to say about us: ‘They’ve got the biggest budget', which we didn’t.

"Sunderland have got a massive budget. It’s not their fault, they’ve fallen on some hard times in terms of league things and now they’re in this league and they’re the big club in the division.

"It’s difficult because they’ve got a bigger budget than everyone else but one, they’ve got to get the right type of players and not only that, they have to handle that expectation.

"It’s a difficult job the Sunderland one.

"So, they are probably favourites because of the size of the club and the budget, but along with that comes a lot of pressure and there are a lot of good sides who can challenge."

Jones, tipped as a contender to replace Simon Grayson last Autumn, is looking forward to a competitive game and a red-hot atmosphere.

He added: "It will be a good atmosphere, obviously with our fans first and foremost, but then obviously I’d imagine Sunderland will bring a few as well so it’ll be a big football game,.

“But these are not just one-off occasions now, these are what we have to start getting used to and start getting used to quickly because we don’t just want to stop here, we want all the big sides to be coming to Kenilworth Road.

“To do that we have to make sure that we perform very well at this level.

"Let’s make sure we enjoy it but we only enjoy it really if you get something out of the game and we’d like to win.”