Hatters CEO knows some Luton fans might have concerns over former Hornets chief taking over but expects majority to back him

New Luton Town boss Rob Edwards - pic: David Horn/PRIME Media ImagesNew Luton Town boss Rob Edwards - pic: David Horn/PRIME Media Images
New Luton Town boss Rob Edwards - pic: David Horn/PRIME Media Images
Sweet admits it was a ‘topic of conversation’ during interview process

Town chief executive Gary Sweet knows there will be some supporters who will have to be won over by new manager Rob Edwards due to his brief stint in charge of Watford earlier this season.

The 39-year-old took over at Vicarage Road in the summer having led Forest Green Rovers to the League Two title after a superb season with the Nailsworth-based club.

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Although he was given assurances over his future at the Hornets by chief executive Scott Duxbury, the pulled the plug on his tenure after just 10 league games of the season, with Watford sitting 10th in the table.

Former Luton and Watford boss Neil McBain talks tactics in 1957Former Luton and Watford boss Neil McBain talks tactics in 1957
Former Luton and Watford boss Neil McBain talks tactics in 1957

Edwards was appointed as Nathan Jones’ successor at Kenilworth Road this afternoon, becoming one of only two men to have managed both clubs, the other being Neil McBain.

The former Manchester United and Liverpool half-back was in charge of Watford from August 1929 to 1937, with over 350 matches, before going to Luton in June 1938, leaving in January 1939, with a spell at Leyton Orient, followed by a return to Vicarage Road for another two-and-a-half years in August 1956.

When asked if there will be any concerns from fans over the appointment of the 39-year-old, Sweet said: “I know there will be, we’re going into this eyes wide open.

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“Has it been a topic of conversation? Of course it has, absolutely, we would be foolish not to take that challenge and it’s a little bit of a challenge.

“I don’t think it’s a massive one though.

"We’ve had an awful lot of players who have played for both clubs and staff that we’ve had from Watford, but I can tell you now, the one thing over the recent years that I’ve been, and maybe the only thing I’ve been most impressed with Watford, is their bold appointment at the time of Rob Edwards.

“As speaking for Rob, if I may, if I was a Forest Green manager at that time, and I was approached by a club that’s just got relegated from the Premier League to apply itself to get promoted back into the Premier League from the Championship, I'd be a fool not to look at that and take that.

“It was a terrific opportunity and so I think our supporters, we’ve got faith that 99 per cent of them will look at that and say, Rob had no previous relationship with Luton or anything beforehand, so why would that not be the case?

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“Just because he’s been there in his short stint, it was so short, that the relationship wasn’t necessarily built up to the extent it’s going to be here.

"When we met Rob we just felt that his nature, his personality was so us as well, that we just felt very, very comfortable with him.

“The way Rob’s career has progressed, had he not have hade that move to Watford, we would probably still be sitting here, as it’s really that identification of what he did at Forest Green that was so impressive to us, and the way he got those players playing.

"So we can’t wait to get him started and all I say to everybody is to make him feel welcome, make his staff feel welcome and get behind the lads when we start back at Middlesbrough and Millwall at home.”

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Although Edwards’ experience of the second tier management is fairly limited, having just had the 10 matches under his belt, that was something that Sweet didn’t feel was hugely important when conducting Town’s search for their new man.

He added: “We didn’t just look at one person, clearly and Rob knows that, we looked at other people.

"I think Championship experience, whilst it's a benefit, wasn't a mandatory thing.

"We did actually speak to a couple of people with no management experience and we spoke to people who had more management experience.

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“When a club and in particular we go through this process, it’s something where you've got to look at many options, but right from the outset, we had quite a clear mind that the list of people was very, very narrow that we identified right from day one.”