Hatters boss wants to go after a few teams at the top after securing Town's Championship status with 17 games to go

Luton chief eying possible raid on the top six

By Mike Simmonds
Friday, 11th February 2022, 9:48 am
Updated Friday, 11th February 2022, 9:58 am

Town manager Nathan Jones is looking to go after a couple of teams at the top end of the Championship now after cementing his side’s status in the division for another season during Tuesday night’s 2-1 win over Barnsley.

Victory for the Hatters saw them on to 45 points for the campaign, and with 46 the average to stay up over the last five years, then with 17 matches still to go, it’s very much job done in terms of that respect.

The win had put Luton level on points with the top six, only goal difference keeping them out, although they did drop a point back again and slip to eighth following Wednesday night’s results, Nottingham Forest leapfrogging them after a 2-0 success at Blackburn Rovers.

Hatters boss Nathan Jones

With Hatters now 25 points above the dotted line at the basement, Jones is now looking up, as he said: "It's only 29 games we’ve played, still 17 to go, so a lot of football still to be played.

"The ironic thing is, we’ve probably secured our Championship status tonight, that’s the first goal achieved in terms of getting enough points so you’re not looking down, and now we can concentrate on going after a couple.

"Without being disrespectful, I think 45 points will keep you up this year, so to do that after 29 games, considering where we were two seasons ago and having to secure your Championship status after 46 games, it’s a wonderful place.

"But we want to progress year in year out, we want to push boundaries and we're doing wonderfully well in terms of a football club, in terms of our structure, our resources we have available to compete with the top six.

"You look at the top six, they all have significantly more resources than us, but we’re delighted with what we have.

"Our structure, our processes, the way the team go about their work and I’m really proud of them."

The Hatters were never a their best in midweek when seeing off the struggling Tykes in the league at Kenilworth Road for the first time since the 1992-93 season, a run spanning almost 30 years.

Fortunate to be on level terms at the break, with Allan Campbell scoring from close range, Town improved in the second half to claim victory courtesy of Elijah Adebayo’s penalty on the hour mark.

Jones felt it was another indication of just how much his side have grown during their third campaign back in the second tier, knowing it was a match they could have well been defeated in last term.

He added: "We would have, last year we lost 2-1 to these and they were better than us.

"They out-battled us, out-bullied us, sides don’t do that to us now, so we’re really happy.

"There are teams that do fantastically well year in, year out in this division that have to grind out results as it’s not fluent.

"Give me 80, 90 million to spend and we might be slightly more fluent on a regular basis, but sometimes we have to grind them out and my team has given me absolutely everything.

"We’re in a really wonderful place, to be where we are now, we’d have taken it, but we’re not satisfied with it, we want to push more.”