Hatters chief quick to praise Inigo’s impact

Hatters U18s chief Inigo Idiakez
Hatters U18s chief Inigo Idiakez

Town boss Nathan Jones paid tribute to U18s boss Inigo Idiakez for the impact he has had on the club’s youngsters this season.

After a disappointing start to the campaign which saw the Hatters go out of the FA Youth Cup to Stevenage in November, they recovered in style, winning the EFL Youth Alliance Cup by beating Wigan Athletic 1-0 at Kenilworth Road.

A lot of credit goes to the staff, especially Inigo, because he works them every day, gives them that belief.

Nathan Jones

Jones said: “After the FA Youth Cup, which was a poor performance, in front of all the fans, it was a good test for them. I know they’ve been in very good form and I know the work that Inigo’s done, but it does matter.

“It’s not as important when they’re playing at Ely Way, but playing here, when they’re on the big stage, that’s when you look and see the character and the development.

“They were phenomenal, I thought they were excellent and the margin of the scoreline defied how dominant we were and we’re playing a League One, now Championship side.

“We were far, far better, in terms of the structure they played first half, they controlled the game, without having a real cutting edge, and second half, I thought they were completely dominant.

“A lot of credit goes to the staff, especially Inigo, because he works them every day, gives them that belief.

“You could see the standard and the structure that we have, for me it was a Luton Town performance and that was the pleasing thing.”

With the Hatters keen to promote their own from the youth ranks throughout their history, Jones added: “It’s always been that, I don’t think there’s a manager in the English Football League that’s given more debuts than me at the minute, in two and a half years.

“I think we’ve given 16 debuts, I’m not sure you can give any more than that, but we want to do that.

“What we have to do is make sure that they’re good enough, make sure they’re disciplined, make sure they deserve that opportunity, then we give it to them.

“Some think that they can’t develop as quickly here, okay, not a problem, but the ones who believe in us, have good careers here.

“You ask anyone, Dan Potts, Jack Stacey, James Justin. All those who have believed in what we do and have bought into it, have all enhanced their careers, they’re all better for it.

“They all have a great standing in the game, because they trusted Luton Town for their development.”