Idiakez enjoying his extra set-piece responsibility with the Hatters

Luton first team coach Inigo Idiakez is relishing his added responsibility with the Hatters this season.

Monday, 21st October 2019, 4:24 pm
Town first team coach Inigo Idiakez
Town first team coach Inigo Idiakez

Not only was the former U18s coach promoted to the backroom staff of manager Graeme Jones in the summer, he is now the brains behind Town’s set-piece routines in the Championship.

It’s bearing fruit, with Luton scoring a number of goals from deadball situations already that have been formulated by Idiakez.

On putting the moves together, the Spaniard said: “At the beginning, I spoke with Graeme and he said ‘I want you to be the one who’s going to organise this.’

“I said ‘okay’, and I’m enjoying it a lot as it’s working a lot.

“Even the last home game (against Millwall), Pottsy (Dan Potts) came close from the wide free kick that we trained on the day before.

“There were a couple of corners too, we prepared that, so I’m enjoying that, but you need the players to do it and to buy into it.

“They’re doing it, so it’s not about me just saying ‘we have to do this,’ it’s talking to the players, ‘how do you feel for today?’

“For corners we have maybe seven or eight, and then we decide which ones, wide free kicks we have a couple, they say too many, but we have a couple.

“It’s our job to work a little bit on that, prepare things but they have to do it, they have to make decisions.

“I can give them some information and then we can decide what we can do, I think we’ve scored from eight or nine now, so it’s good.”

Idiakez’s change in role is nothing that new to the former Derby and Southampton midfielder, who has served as assistant manager at Apollon Limassol since calling time on his playing career, plus youth development coach at Leicester City and first team coach with the Rams.

He’s clearly enjoying the task though, adding: “It’s good, everything is really positive.

“During the first year, we went up (as League One champions), kept winning and winning and winning, so it was difficult to change things.

“We got a new manager, I spoke with Graeme, Graeme wanted me to stay here with him.

“We try to analyse everything, try to organise good training sessions for them. We try to give them information, I’m more than happy to try and help the football club, in particular Graeme and the staff.”

When asked how Jones is taking to life as a manager for the first time after having been an assistant previously in his career, Idiakez said: "Perfect, he's different, because you know every manager is different.

"From pre-season it was working three times a day, for us as staff as well, working a lot, analysing everything we’re doing, not only in games, in training as well, and taking information.

"He’s a European coach or manager, he’s not like an English one like it was before, like a 4-4-2. He’s got new ideas, but every game we have to analyse everything and we prepare every single game differently.

"So it’s a challenge for everyone which is good."

On what he made of Town's start to the Championship, taking 11 points from their opening 11 matches so far, Idiakez added: "We've been unlucky in a couple of games, I think we could have some more points, but so far we haven’t spent a lot of money and you see some others teams are spending a lot of money.

"I think we're doing great, you can see the fight and the spirit of the players.

"We normally create chances, I think we’re doing well, but this is a really, really long season, so we have to keep doing everything right."