Jones thrilled with progress after reaching anniversary
After completing his two year anniversary in charge of the Hatters last weekend, boss Nathan Jones allowed himself time to reflect on just how far the club has come in those 24 months.
When Jones took over from former manager John Still, Luton were languishing in the lower reaches of the division, with an aging squad, and no real signs of being able to mount a push for promotion.
Now they are top of the league and virtually dead certs to go up this term, while running a full strength Premier League side in Newcastle mightily close in the FA Cup as well.
On just what he has achieved so far, Jones said: “When I put things into perspective and when you look at two years to the day, when I was appointed, and then my first game was against Cambridge, if someone had said to me in two years time, you’ll be top of the league, you’ll be playing a brand of football like you are, you’ll be scoring goals, you’ll play Newcastle and give them one hell of a game, I’d have taken that.
“Had someone had told me you were taking 8,000 fans with you and just what progression we’ve made as a club, then that’s the pride for me.
“It took me a time on Saturday and Sunday to pinch myself and think that, because I was so het up on winning the game, because of what we do, the work, the belief, that sometimes I forget that, but it was a good day.”
Although thrilled about the position Town are in now compared to when he first arrived, Jones preferred to focus on the building blocks he has put in place to get to this stage.
He continued: “It’s just an immense inner pride, we’re not shouting about it and saying, ‘I’m proud of this, I’m proud of that,’ no we don’t.
“When you look at it and the work that’s gone into those two years and to that first performance when six players went down with cramp, three went off injured, one had to stay on.
“We hardly created a chance, we were struggling to keep Cambridge at bay, struggling to keep their physicality, their fitness at bay and then we go to Newcastle away, we’re going toe to toe with them as a Premier League club, it’s mad.
“When you put it into those bookends, you’re thinking, ‘wow, it’s a hell of a progression,’ but then everything that’s gone in between.
“The building that’s gone on, the play-offs last year, then lessons learned, how close we were.
“The football we’re playing this year, the goals we’re scoring, the player recruitment we have, the assets we have now at the football club, the training ground.
“You put all those into perspective, you’re thinking, lets not be greedy here.”