Former Seagulls striker tips Luton chief to be a top boss

Craig Mackail-Smith
Craig Mackail-Smith

Hatters boss Nathan Jones is destined to manage at a higher level according to former Town striker Craig Mackail-Smith.

The 33-year-old, who left the club after his contract came to an end last month, has seen Jones make the switch from first team coach when they were at Brighton together, to a manager in his own right at Kenilworth Road.

I think he will go on to a higher level as he’s got a specific way of playing that is attractive and people want to see that.

Craig Mackail-Smith

On just how he how has progressed, Mackail-Smith said: “He’s done fantastic. I was with him at Brighton and you could see as a coach how enthusiastic he was for the game, the ideas he wanted to implement.

“Then coming to Luton and being a manager, he can stamp his own authority on the team and how he wants them to play.

“He has that total enthusiasm for the game and wants to make the team the best it can be.

“They play fantastic football, the passing and the moving, it’s great to watch. I think he will go on to a higher level as he’s got a specific way of playing that is attractive and people want to see that.”

Although Luton missed out on a place in League One last season, beaten in the play-offs by Blackpool, Mackail-Smith is confident that they can achieve their goal next term, and believes the group Jones has at his disposal would be more suited to the step up.

He continued: “If he keeps the majority of the squad together and has a few additions, I think he can take Luton out of that division.

“The way they play, I think that will suit them more in League One than in League Two.

“As League Two is very long ball, play for the seconds and I think he understood that when he brought Ollie Palmer in to have another option which is great as it shows he is understanding what needs to change and the way they play.

“So once the club gets out of that division, the way they want to play, it will propel them up the leagues.”

However, Mackail-Smith did add a note of caution as with the likes of Coventry, Chesterfield, Swindon and Port Vale coming down, while Mansfield Town making a number of signings already, he knows that once again, it will be far from easy to finish in the top three.

He added: “It is a very, very tough division, all the divisions are getting very, very difficult. There are some massive teams that are being relegated, so it is getting harder and harder.

“The players that are dropping down into these divisions now are very, very experienced players, so it is getting harder and harder.

“But I think the team that they’ve (Luton) got, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are right up there next season.”