Sweet always thought Luton were the best in League One

Luton chief executive Gary Sweet revealed that he realised the club had a realistic chance of promotion from very early on in the season.

Friday, 24th May 2019, 8:23 am
Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet

Town eventually got the job done in the final week of the campaign, going on to lift the League One trophy as champions.

However, when he first started to think such success was a possibility this term, Sweet said: “It was quite early when I thought, ‘we’re the best team in the league here.’

“We had some average results at the beginning, and it was early October I seem to remember thinking it.

“We buy a lot of statistical analysis here and all of a sudden we were something like 14th in the table, but we were second in the statistical analysis table, where it’s all about expected goals, and various other things.

“We were playing well but just not scoring, we had that issue.

“We knew we could probably overturn that, so we were always quite hopeful from early on.”

For former boss Mick Harford, who led Town to the title, before making way for new boss Graeme Jones, it dawned on him slightly later that Luton had it in them to go up automatically.

He said: “I realised when we played Portsmouth at home. Portsmouth are a good team and there are some good teams in this league, some big clubs, some big squads.

“The first half performance against Portsmouth was massive for me and I thought, ‘we’ve got a chance now in terms of getting out of the league.’

“We got pegged back and the boys showed an absolute mountain of character in terms of getting over the line in that game and it was monumental.

“Also one of the games against Doncaster Rovers when we watched the Barnsley game against Walsall in the dressing room.

"Barnsley got a late goal after 92 minutes and I thought there might be a slight bit of deflation amongst the players, but they went out there and they won 4-0 against a really good Doncaster team.

“So those two games were pivotal moments of the season.”