Former Hatters skipper doesn't anticipate any less pressure in League One
Ex-Luton captain Scott Cuthbert doesn't think there will be any less pressure on the Hatters now they have made it back into League One for the first time in a decade.
During their three years in League Two, Town had been expected to win promotion at the start of each season, going desperately close during the 2016-17 campaign, beaten in the play-offs, before getting the job done last term.
Any thoughts that the expectation level amongst supporters would decrease ever so slightly with Luton in the third tier of English football was brushed aside by the defender, who left the club earlier this month, as he said: “Playing for the Luton fans for the past few years, I doubt that, I genuinely doubt that.
“They do expect a lot and I think they’ll be expecting the team to do well, especially if they have a good start, get going, get a few results, I think the fans will be expecting them to push the bigger teams.”
The 31-year-old doesn’t think that another season of success is beyond Town’s capabilities either having seen how they won promotion from League Two, as he continued: “I can’t see why not. I know the gaffer, I know the way he works, he’s intense, he’s driven, he wants to win things, he wants to be successful and I can’t see him settling for mediocrity and mid-table.
“I think he’ll be wanting to push on and will want to try and sign the best that’s available in that league.
“I think he will, and I fully believe Luton will be up there challenging next season.
“I don’t know if they’ll be up there in the top two as there’s some big teams in that league, some exciting away games for the fans to go to, but I certainly believe they’ll be right up there challenging.”
The determination to achieve success has been something that Cuthbert learned to get used to after arriving from Leyton Orient in the summer of 2015, as he felt there was no extra onus on having to go up this term.
He continued: “For me, this was my third season, you just kind of learn to deal with the expectation.
“Even in my first year, under John Still, the fans expected us to be promoted, so when you’re a club the size of Luton in League Two, there’s always that expectancy that you’re going to be up there challenging.
“Genuinely the third year when we came back in pre-season, I didn’t feel it anyway. There was no real added expectation or pressure, because it was already there and we expected that from ourselves as well.
“So there was certainly no added pressure, we knew what we wanted to achieve, we set that out early doors and thankfully we achieved it.”
Cuthbert freely admitted that he hadn’t been at his best during his first season with the club, but believes he won the Town fans over and was quick to praise the impact they had too, saying: “My first year at Luton never went to plan.
“I started the season well, but towards the end of John Still’s reign I was poor, I was very poor.
“I hit a real bad patch of form and then it wasn’t until Nathan Jones came in that I started putting in the performances.
“But the fans have been great, it’s ridiculous the amount of fans we take to away games.
“Wycombe games are always good, Stevenage games are good, they travel and fill the stands and it’s certainly unique in this division.
“You don’t get a lot of teams that take that following. The manager mentioned it at the end of season parade, how well they supported us this year and they’ll fully support the club next season as well when they go to places like Sunderland which are five, six hours up there, they’ll definitely take a couple of thousand up there.”
Although he didn’t feature in the final game either, just on seeing the scenes at Notts County, Cuthbert added: “Fantastic, you go up there and there’s four and a half thousand fans who are not really bothered about the result, they’re there to have a party and enjoy themselves.
“It was great hearing them from the warm up right to the end, it was fantastic seeing them at the end and giving them all a clap, saying goodbye and fantastic to see that atmosphere. To have supporters like that and for them to turn up in their numbers, it’s fantastic for the club.”