Jones insists Hatters are on target as he completes a year in charge

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Hatters boss Nathan Jones believes his side are ‘bang on target’ as he celebrates a year in charge at Kenilworth Road today.

The Luton chief was appointed on January 7 last year, taking over from previous manager John Still and believes he has set the foundations in place for what he hopes will be a successful 2017.

It’s been a platform, but now we have to turn that platform into a springboard and then see how far we can go.

Nathan Jones

On his year so far, Jones said: “I’ve been very pleased with the progress we’ve made, I think we’ve made great strides as a football club.

“Firstly, in our environment that we have, it’s a different club. We have a different level of player now, we have a different character, we have a different professionalism here, and not being detrimental to anyone in terms of when I came here, what I wanted to instil is here.

“We’ve got good staff here, excellent staff. The fans are right on board with us, we’ve made great strides off the pitch, so I think it’s been a wonderful year.

“It’s been a platform, but now we have to turn that platform into a springboard and then see how far we can go.

“I think we’re bang on target, I really do believe that.”

After finishing 11th last term, nine points away from the play-offs, Hatters find themselves sixth place this term.

Although, Luton are still some eight points behind the top three, Jones is pleased to have achieved his goal of making his side serious promotion challengers.

He continued: “I wanted to turn us into a challenging team, quickly. I said to them last year, how far can we go? We were almost in touching distance of play-offs and just when we needed that result we didn’t quite get it.

“Then we still finished strongly, but we didn’t finish as high as I would have liked. That was my own ambitions.

“This year we’ve assembled a squad we feel is capable of doing something, and we’ve been right in the mix, we haven’t been outside the top six I don’t think all season.

“We’d like to be in the top three. Now there’s a big second half of the season to go and we’re looking forward to it.

“We’re really looking forward to it and if there’s any strengthening to do we’ll do it and that will give us an impetus for the fortching year.”

Meanwhile, Jones believes that although he has made mistakes during his first year in the job, he’s constantly striving to improve as a manager.

The Luton chief added: “I’m learning all the time. I’m lucky enough to have good people around me, lucky enough to have a board who are patient and I’m obviously very very driven and ambitious myself, but I’m learning every day.

“You learn about problems, learn how to handle stuff, learn about decision making in terms of stuff and I’m very open and honest with myself as you can’t hide from yourself.

“Sometimes I feel that I make the wrong decision and we get away with it and I learn from that.

“Sometimes I feel we make the wrong decision and we don’t, so I’ll learn from those decisions.

“Right now I’m as focused as I ever have been in my career and I can’t wait for the second half of the season because it’s going to be a real exciting second half to the season and I’m looking forward to it.”