Hatters boss quick to praise his staff and players after being named Championship Manager of the Year

Town chief reacts to winning award at EFL presentation night

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 6:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 6:56 am
Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Luton boss Nathan Jones was quick to praise his players and staff after being named Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Year at the EFL end of season awards ceremony on Sunday night.

The 48-year-old, now in his second spell at the club, has led Town to a superb fifth place in the table this term, with one foot in the play-offs following Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Blackpool.

It was enough for Jones to be picked to as the division’s top boss and speaking to Three Counties Radio after picking up the prize, Jones said: “It’s a wonderful honour, I’m very proud to accept it on behalf of everyone.

"I know it’s an individual accolade, but as the cliche goes, you’re only as strong as the team behind you and I’ve got a very good group with me that have enabled me to win something like this.”

When asked about why he thought he took the award ahead of other managers in the second tier, Jones continued: “I’m very proud of the work we do.

"Marco Silva (Fulham boss) has got promoted, so he’s done something quite remarkable.

"It’s just the fact that they’ve taken everything into account of the job you do with the resources you have.

"It was pretty much expected and the pressure was on Fulham to get promoted, maybe as champions as well because of where they’ve come from.

"For us, it’s probably more a slightly more out of the blue thing to be in contention where we are.

"We believed it in house, but it’s fantastic and there’s some real good managers, Steve Cooper (Nottingham Forest) has done fantastically well, Carlos Corberan has done fantastically well and even Scott Parker who has took Fulham up and then gone to Bournemouth, is still in the hunt for automatic promotion as well.

“We’ve been on a journey and this year it was to really challenge.

"We wanted that, we believed it, we recruited that way.

"So it’s come from planning and outside of Luton, everyone would have thought this is a huge, huge surprise, that it couldn't be done, couldn’t be achieved.

"But inside we kind of had that confidence that we could push boundaries this year.”

Jones, who is now in his second spell in charge at Kenilworth Road, insists that the club are right on path to achieve the goals they set out when he was initially appointed some six years ago.

He added: “It’s evolution, we’ve been on a journey.

"Before I came they were on a certain journey then I was employed to steer them on the next phase of that.

"We had a very ambitious plan in 2016, to get to the Championship in four years, we got there in three.

"Now we’ve had another four year plan to get to the Premier League and we’re in year three effectively, or two and three quarters, so we’re right on plan.

"It's been an evolution process, first year we had to consolidate, I came back for the final games but the important thing was to stay up.

"The next thing was establish ourselves as a Championship side and not be in any fear of going down, we finished top half, so we kind of ticked that box.

"This year was to really challenge, we wanted that, we believed it, we recruited that way."