Sweet confirms Luton have turned down approaches for Jones

Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet admitted the club have had to rebuff advances for in-demand manager Nathan Jones.

Friday, 23rd June 2017, 9:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:27 am
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The 43-year-old will start his second full season in charge at Kenilworth Road in August, but has been catching the eye of other sides from higher up the football echelon with the way he has gone about things since taking over in January 2016.

Jones, who penned a new long term deal back in March, was most recently heavily linked with League One Wigan Athletic

When asked if the Latics had lodged an approach for the ex-Brighton first team coach, Sweet said: “It’s all confidential, and will remain that way, we’re professional as the day is long. Yes, there’s been interest, he’s doing some great things here, but Nathan wants to stay and we’re looking after Nathan.

“That’s not code for we gave him more money by the way, we really believe in Nathan Jones.

“We back his judgement and back his intelligence and his philosophies, his football philosophies and so does everyone else, all the coaches.

“Nathan was always a longer term appointment. He will be that and he’ll be that because we want him to stay and he wants to stay.

“Not because we’re holding him back or somebody else isn’t offering enough money. It’s just about him wanting to build the project for us and lead the football element of that project as it’s a big project.”

Jones is fiercely ambitious though, having spoken previously about his desire to manage at the top level, and whether that has come up in the pairs discussions, Sweet continued: “We talk about Nathan’s future every week of the year.

“A lot of the conversations all of us have are about what we can achieve. It’s not about the day today, or where we went wrong yesterday, or what we’re doing today, our conversations predominantly are about how much ambition we’ve got.

“We don’t go the Brache and think haven’t we done a fantastic job? We think, what can we do next? What are we doing next year? What’s phase two? What’s phase three? So all the time, broadly all we’re talking about is the future.”

Should Jones eventually move on from Luton, Sweet doesn’t think it will stop the progress of the club though, as he added: “Most importantly is firstly we don’t fear anything.

“We’ve got this foundation that we’re talking about, it isn’t around Nathan Jones. Nathan Jones is very much a part of it, but if Nathan left, Mick (Harford) left, Paul Hart left, if any player left, if I left, the club would survive, the club would carry on.

“The culture of the business is such that it would continue as it is, and it’s always an opportunity to progress.

“People leaving is always an opportunity to improve, to get better, but Nathan’s right for us. We are doing some great things together and we love him being here.

“In our meetings, the language is very, very productive, very ambitious and on that basis, why would he consider anything else? Because he’s developing too.”