No points target in mind for Championship safety as Jones targets progression

Luton chief wants to beat last season's position and final tally

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 5:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 5:22 pm
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Luton boss Nathan Jones doesn't have a points tally in mind that Luton will need to ensure they are playing Championship football again next season.

With 12 games of the season to go, the Hatters find themselves in an excellent position in which to do so, sitting 16th in the table, some 12 points clear of third bottom Rotherham, who they had been supposed to play last night, the game called off due to Millers players contracting coronavirus.

Last term, 49 points was enough for Barnsley to stay up, after Wigan Athletic had a points deduction handed out to them, and when asked if he had a target he was confident would be enough to see Town remain in the second tier for a third season, Jones said: “We want to get to a points total where we’re looking up and thinking, ‘where can we go?’

"Probably in the international break, we would we like to break a certain points tally. If we meet our targets this month, we will, and then we’re planning the last eight games of the season.

“Then for the last eight games of the season it’s what you want to do, where can we go and we’ll evaluate a few things, but all we’re looking at is progression, year in, year out.

"If we finish above the points total we had last year, then we will stay up, because 52 points will keep you up, realistically.

“Barring something unbelievable happening, it will keep you up, so that’s got to be the first thing, the first goal that we have.

“But it’s not because that keeps us up, it’s because it exceeds last year’s total.

"So, the quicker we can get above 51 points, means that we’ve exceeded last year’s total.

“We’re in a decent position, so, if we finish somewhere like we did last year then we’ll have made considerable progress.”

Making progression is a key aim for Joes this term, and the Hatters already odds-on to achieve their goal.

They finished the 2019/20 campaign in 19th position, with 51 points, escaping relegation on the final day thanks to a run of just one defeat in their last nine games once the manager had returned to Kenilworth Road.

Town are currently on 44 points, some 14 ahead of the same stage last term, when they were bottom of the pack and looked destined to go down, as Jones added: “We’re always looking at improving.

"We’re trying now because we have to evolve, but we can’t just suddenly go gung-ho and disrespect the position we’re in.

“We came up against some teams at the end of last year that we felt can really cause you problems, because we felt they were playing a bit off the cuff at times.

“We’re not going to be like that, we want to progress, we want to finish considerably higher than we did last year.

“If we finish one place higher it’s progression, if we finish above 51 points it’s progression, but we would like to push boundaries.

“So, however much we finish above that, we want to continue that momentum to go forward because next year, we want to beat it again.”