No excuses for Hatters boss in Town's promotion push

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Town boss Nathan Jones knows there can be no excuses from his side in their attempts to win promotion this term.

The Hatters finished in fourth place last year, but developed a knack of continually failing to see off teams when on top, a theme that carried on into the play-offs, as they eventually lost out to Blackpool with virtually the last kick.

Jones believes his recruitment policy over the summer, signing a number of promotion winners like Alan McCormack, James Collins and Marek Stech, has given them every chance of ensuring they aren’t blighted by such a factor this time round.

He said: “We were a hard luck story last year.

“We lost the least amount of games, had the second best defensive record, were very high in the scoring charts, we played lovely football, we developed footballers, we moved the club forward, but we didn’t get promoted, and it was nearly.

“This year we can’t have excuses, can’t have that naivety about us, can’t allow teams to nick draws and cost us our ultimate goal.

“That’s why I’ve brought in experience. That’s why we’re always constantly looking to improve it, so no-one thinks, 'okay, I’m in a comfort zone.'

“There’s no comfort zones at Luton Town. I’m not in a comfort zone, I don’t expect to be in one, neither are my players.

“So we’re looking to move forward and take the step we couldn’t quite do last year and that’s our goal.”

Too many draws was one of the main reasons Hatters couldn’t take that extra step last time, as they were held 17 times in total, 10 of them coming on their travels.

Jones continued: “We’ve identified a few things we didn’t do well last year, drawing games was one of those things.

“It wasn’t for want of trying to try and win games, because the only time we ever had to see out a game at 1-1 was Mansfield away when they went very direct and bombarded us and a point was no problem for us at that time.

“But every time we have drawn, we’ve looked to have won the game.

“We have a real ambition about us and that’s not going to change.

“What we have to do is cut a bit of naivety out, not give teams certain things.

“All we have to do is make sure we go one place further than we did last season and we’ll be fine.”

Although Jones would bite your hand off for a top three finish ahead of this afternoon's clash with Yeovil, the Town chief has higher aims in mind.

He continued: “It’s about doing whatever it takes to one, get in the top three first.

"If you offered me top three now I’d take it, but we have ambitions at the club.

"It’s about doing whatever it takes to win football matches and win enough of them that we are better than a minimum of 20 teams in this league, that’s what we want.”

Meanwhile, when asked if he was under any more pressure from outside, with the additions in the close season meaning Luton are heavily tipped to finish as champions, Jones added: “I don’t envisage there being any more pressure on me from anyone else in this world than what I put on myself.

“If there is, there is. I know what I want to achieve and my goals.

“Trust me, there’s no fan at Luton, or director, or player that has more ambition than me.

“So the pressure I put on myself is far greater than anything I’ve come under in my career.”