Ex-Hatter reveals what Rob Edwards did to instantly win over Luton's players after replacing Nathan Jones

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New manager had an instant buy-in from the squad following first meeting

​Former Luton defender Dan Potts has revealed just how the Town squad were instantly won over by manager Rob Edwards when he took charge of the club over 18 months ago.

Back in November 2022 and with Town sitting 10th in the Championship table, the Hatters saw then Premier League side Southampton make what was an ultimately successful approach for manager Nathan Jones. With the Welshman leaving for St Mary’s, Luton turned to former Forest Green and Watford chief Edwards to replace him, as he was to lead the Hatters to the top flight via a stunning play-off final victory over Coventry City, just unable to keep them there last term.

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At the time, the transition between Jones and Edwards was seamless, Luton even getting better once the former Wolverhampton Wanderers defender took over, winning 14 out of 25 matches to finish in third spot. On what is was like in the dressing room when he arrived, Potts said: “I think they (Town’s board) knew Nathan was in demand after the success we had the year before (reaching the play-offs) and what he’d done with the club.

Town defender Dan Potts celebrates winning promotion to the Premier League at Wembley - pic: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty ImagesTown defender Dan Potts celebrates winning promotion to the Premier League at Wembley - pic: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images
Town defender Dan Potts celebrates winning promotion to the Premier League at Wembley - pic: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

"I think the club were a bit more prepared this time with the replacement and that’s when Rob came in. I remember the first meeting was around Christmas time, he’d come in and the first slide said, ‘well, the Christmas do is still on,’ so straight away he had the lads almost within the first minute. We were relaxed, as when the new manager comes in and everyone wants to impress, but it just made it instantly relaxed and the buy-in was instant.

"He didn’t really tweak too much, he made us a little bit more in possession, gave us a little bit more time on the ball, but in terms of that winning mentality we had, the one-nils, making it hard for teams, winning ugly, to keep us in the position we were and progress into the play-offs, that stayed. There were times where we thought could we nick automatic. We beat Sheffield United away and we thought, could we catch them?

"That would have been unreal, but it's always said if you’re going to get promoted the way to do it is through the play-offs. The whole moment itself, I can understand why people say that. It was unreal. I was just so happy for everyone at the club, the staff, the fans, as it’s just a day that everyone associated with Luton will never forget.”

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