Promotion is the target for new Town coach Emberson

PROMOTION back into the Football League is the only thought occupying Luton’s players and backroom staff this season, according to former Hatters keeper Carl Emberson, writes Mike Simmonds.

The 38-year-old was appointed as first team development coach last week and is desperate to make sure that this season is Town’s last in the Blue Square Bet Premier.

He said: “This is it. We’re here to get automatic promotion, that’s what we’re drumming into the players.

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“They’ve been a little unfortunate with the play-offs, but really, the players have got to do better.

“We don’t want to go through the emotions of the play-offs. Luton Town fans know that and the players know that.

“I’ve never lost in the play-off final but lost in the semi-final, so I know what it feels like.

“I don’t want to be doing that. When we won promotion with Luton, we got promoted at Swansea, about three or four games before the end.

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“That’s where you want to be at, that’s where we’re striving to be at.”

Although there is no standout team splashing the cash in the Conference such as Crawley and Fleetwood have done in recent years, sides like Mansfield Town are giving it a real shot by overhauling their squad.

Emberson is wary of the opposition that Luton will face this year, especially those who have been accustomed to plying their trade in the Football League.

He continued: “You’ve got to pay the league respect. Over the last 10 years it’s transformed.

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“The scenario of the Conference, it’s really 12-13 Football League teams, they’re all full-time.

“Over the years it’s evolved into a much tougher league from when I was playing 10-12 years ago where there was only a nucleus of part-time teams.

“If you look at the league now, you’ve got Cambridge United, Lincoln, teams I used to play against as a professional.

“Wrexham and Mansfield are not little outfits, they’re going to fancy promotion, so it’s going to be tough.

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“But the experience we’ve got in the squad now, we’re giving ourselves the best possible chance.”

If Hatters can finally regain their place in League Two, then Emberson sees no reason why they can’t mirror the achievements of both Crawley and Stevenage, who have made it into League One at the first attempt.

He added: “Once you start to get in the habit, it’s a strange scenario with the two promotions, but it does happen and it’s proven.

“A team like Luton, with the fans, the size of the club and backing, once we get on a roll it’s going to be hard to slow down, that’s the plan anyway.”

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