Luton chief concedes Hatters are in a relegation battle this season

Hatters boss Graeme Jones
Hatters boss Graeme Jones

Luton boss Graeme Jones has made it clear that the Hatters will be in a relegation battle this season.

Town’s defeat on Saturday, going down 2-1 to Nottingham Forest, was their third successive reverse, and fourth in fifth matches.

It means that with 15 games of the season gone, Luton are 21st in the table, just two points above the drop zone.

Speaking after the defeat, Jones said: “We all need to keep it real, where we are.

“All of a sudden, and I try to be positive, we’re 15 games in, and I think we’ll be absolutely fine in the Championship, but we’re in a relegation battle and people need to understand that.

“I think the supporters, staff and the players at this football club have been very realistic from word go.

"I wanted to look positive and I wanted to look up, but we’re in a relegation battle right now.

“Next week (against Reading) is another opportunity to earn three points and that’s how we have to view things.

“The supporters have known from minute one, but why do I want to talk about a relegation battle in August?

“Anything could happen, anything, but today we sit fourth bottom of the table and we haven’t won for three.”

Although Jones is well aware his side will face a battle for survival, he is confident they can remain in the second tier of English football, but will need to improve dramatically on Saturday's showing against the Reds.

He continued: "I think we’ve got enough in our game to get results, but today was a bit of a different challenge.

“Luton Town, at home to Nottingham Forest, had to break them down.

“They played 4-5-1 and played on the counter attack and I think that shocked us a little bit.

“All of a sudden we had the ball and we had time on the ball.

"I saw it quite early on, which gave us a route, but we didn’t execute it well enough.

"Every time we fiddled it inside we gave the ball away, we got done on the counter attack, which is what they set up for.

“When you play against teams like that you’ve got to be perfect technically.

“You can’t afford to make a mistake, so it’s another lesson.

"The thing about the last three games, Fulham in possession, Birmingham out of possession, 4-5-1 at home, Notts Forest playing on the counter attack, the challenges are there for everybody to see.”