Luton chief unaware of potential interest after signing new deal

Luton Town chief Nathan Jones admitted he hadn't been aware of any interest from other clubs in acquiring his services after penning new long term contract this morning.

Monday, 20th March 2017, 5:25 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:56 am
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

When appointed back in January 2016, Jones signd an initial deal which was due to expire at the end of next season.

However, he has agreed new terms for the rest of this campaign and the next three seasons too, and when asked if he thought it had been offered as a deterrent to prevent other clubs trying to prise him away from Kenilworth Road, Jones said: “I don’t know, but it’s a commitment from both sides.

“It’s a commitment from myself to say ‘I want to be here’ and the club have shown great faith in me to say ‘we want you to take us forward,’ so I’m very happy.

“It’s been ongoing for about eight weeks, but once the club made it clear that they wanted to do that then I was only too happy to sit down and speak.

“I’m very proud to be manager of the football club, I’ve loved my time here, I think we’ve made great strides in the 14 months, and I’m delighted to commit my future.

“It’s a wonderful club, I’ve got a good relationship with all the staff, and the fans, so I hope they’re as pleased as I am.”

With Luton unsure exactly what division they will be playing in next term, Jones felt the new deal shows just how much faith the club have in ability to lead them into the future, no matter where they are plying their trade in the 2017-18 campaign.

He continued: “I don’t think it was a reward for getting promotion, I think it was a reward for putting the club on the right track, in terms of where we were going.

“If anyone feels I’m not doing that job, then fine, I’ve got no qualms with that.

“For me, I have a mandate of what the club want me to do. We’re right on track and bearing in mind, they were 18th and closer to relegation than promotion when I came in and in a year we have turned into a promotion-chasing club with the second youngest side in League Two.

“So I think we’ve made great strides. Regardless of if we make promotion or not, I think it’s, ‘right we trust you for the future,’ and that’s what it is.

“Also I see myself being here, so it’s not just a vote of confidence in me, one-sided, it’s me putting my future in their hands as well.

“I’ve been blessed enough to be able to make my own decisions in life and this was one which was a no brainer, as I love the club.”

With the shelf lives of manager’s so short these days, Jones is already the 35th longest serving boss in the country, despite not even completing 15 months at the helm.

By securing his long term future, Jones believes it is a marker of the club’s approval in what he has implemented during his time as Town boss, thus far, saying: “I am very grateful the club has trusted me to take the club forward, and in god’s will I will do that.

“It’s not a reward for achievement yet, it’s a reward for process.

“We have a good process here, we develop young players, no disrespect to anyone, but we are in a far better place than when I came in, in terms of environment, squad, size, strength, age, fitness level, everything.

“So some things take time. Look at Paul Tisdale (Exeter manager), he’s been there 10 years and they’re a League Two club at the minute.

“I’m 14 months into my managerial career, and I think I’ve demonstrated certain things that the club see are vital to take the club forward and they’ve rewarded me and I’m very, very grateful for that, I am.”

Jones was quick to admit that it was a gamble for the club to appoint him at the time, as he possessed limited managerial experience, but is confident it has and will continue to work out.

The former Brighton first team coach added: “I was at a wonderful football club with a long contract there, but I chose, after speaking to Gary (Sweet) to leave there.

“I wanted to gamble on my own future, in terms of the club gambled on me as well, because it was a good fit. They wanted my kind of manager, they wanted someone with a vision, with a long term goal, one that was going to work with players and that’s what I’m going to try and do.

“I want to improve players, I want to develop myself as I’m doing that. Hopefully I can take the club forward as well.

“It was a good fit and I’ve got an excellent relationship with the board, especially Gary. He’s my go to man, and I thank him for the confidence he’s shown in me and more than anything the trust.”