Town boss aware now is the time he will be judged

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

Hatters boss Nathan Jones is well aware he will begin to be judged by supporters as he starts his first full season in charge at Kenilworth Road.

The Welshman took over in January after John Still had left the club, and with a hefty gap already between Luton and the top seven, plus inheriting an inflated squad of players, managed to finish in 11th place.

“Now the work really, really starts, and the pressure and the up and the downs and the rollercoaster that is a football season.”

Nathan Jones

However, with Town finally on a level playing field ahead of this afternooon’s League Two opener with Plymouth Argyle, Jones said: “We get judged on that now.

“Last year we were playing catch up all the time, we had a big catch up. We had goals that we wanted to do and for the most part we did, we caught up with people, but this is now the proper season.

“We have ambitions, have a plan in place, we’ve recruited well, now everything has to come together. It’s not going to now go bang and we’re going to be top of the league or promoted, now the work really, really starts, and the pressure and the up and the downs and the rollercoaster that is a football season.

“But it’s amazing, it’s the best thing you can do. All I can say is we’re ready for that, lots of things are going to happen through the season where we’re going to have to adapt, adjust, react and we’re ready for that as well.”

After bringing in eight new players over the summer, Jones is confident he knows which 11 will take to the field for the curtain raiser at Home Park.

He continued: “Yes, I’m pretty much sure, there might be one or two, because we have so much competition in certain areas.

“It’s about tweaking things and sometimes we’ll tweak the side based on the game in terms of personnel.

“But everyone’s competing really well. We have good depth in the squad in terms of quality, not as big on numbers. I’m happy with the numbers we have and now we’re just looking forward to it starting.”

Luton will go into the game with a fully-fit squad apart from long-term absentees Danny Green and Craig Mackail-Smith, who are not expected back in the near future, as Jones added: “We’ve got a full squad, obviously we’ve got Danny Green and Craig Mackail-Smith who are still a little bit off, but apart from those two, they’re all fit and we’ve very grateful for that.

“That comes down to a lot of god’s will, a bit of luck, but some real good planning by Jared (Roberts-Smith), our sports scientist.

“So it’s been a good pre-season, a productive pre-season, but now the real thing starts and we’re looking forward to it. w