Hatters boss making no promises

Nathan Jones with Gary Sweet
Nathan Jones with Gary Sweet

New Hatters boss Nathan Jones is making no promises regarding his side’s chances of reaching the League Two play-offs this season.

Jones, who was appointed Luton manager last week, takes over a side languishing 15th in the table, already nine points adrift of the top seven.

Town are at home to Cambridge this weekend, but when asked if promotion was still the aim, Jones said: “Lets concentrate on Cambridge first. We’ll try and get three points at Cambridge, see where we are, then we’ll go to Mansfield, and again see where we are.

“It’s an old cliché of taking each game as it comes, but the players are going to have a new manager, new ideas, different ideas. It’s how quickly they grasp them, how quickly the fans get behind us and believe in us, and then lets go forward together.

“If we can start doing that at Cambridge, then we’ll have another week to plan, do all our preparation again.

“I know its clichéd, but that’s what we do, and game by game, see where it ends up.

“I’m sure after 46 games, we’ll end up where we should end up.”

On the game itself against a side who recently changed managers too, with former Town chief Richard Money replaced by ex-Notts County boss Shaun Derry, Jones said: “Shaun’s gone in there and done really well, I know Shaun, I played against Shaun, and I’m sure he’ll bring a lot of the characteristics he had as player to his managerial style.

“He’s had a really positive impact since he’s gone in there, a couple of adverse results lately, but that can happen to anyone.

“I watched the game and there was nothing in the game at the weekend in bad conditions, so he’ll be looking to put it right at the weekend.”

Jones was aware of the derby feel to the fixture too, as both sides created a healthy rivalry during their Conference years, as he continued: “Yes, someone mentioned to it me, a good friend of mine who’s from the Cambridge area.

“It’s good first game if you like, a bit of spice involved, so that all adds to it. I’m sure they’ll be enough fanfare around the game anyway, so a bit of spice won’t harm it.”

With Luton knocked out of the FA Cup at the hands of Peterborough, Jones has had extra time on the training field with his new charges, as Town had a rare weekend off.

The new boss believes it could be a positive going into his first game at the helm as he continued: “It does help to have a bit of time, so that, one I can watch the opposition, two, we can work on a few things.

“It gives us a little bit of time without the added things to do leading up to a game.

“It gives us a little bit of time to prepare, implement a few things and hopefully we can see some of those come out at the weekend.”

Meanwhile, Jones has been impressed with the squad left at his disposal by previous boss John Still and is confident he can aid their development as well.

He added: “I believe the squad is there.

“I don’t want to comment on what has gone on in the past or if they’re under achieving, or doing well, I don’t know, that’s not my concern.

“But all I can say is I’m excited by the squad I’ve got.

“We’ll evaluate the squad quickly, we will improve the squad too, not just by adding players but improving them, day to day and how they play, how they think, how they train.

“So it’s a good time, but I’m excited and hopefully it’s a progressive time for Luton Town. It’s a fantastic opportunity, a fantastic project and I’m really excited by the opportunity to come in and lead the club.”