New Town addition Cameron Jerome insists Hatters boss can be the driving force behind Luton's Premier League ambitions

Striker has been hugely impressed by the enthusiasm on display from new manager

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 10:35 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 10:36 am
Town striker Cameron Jerome challenges the Rochdale keeper on Saturday

New Town striker Cameron Jerome insists that manager Nathan Jones can be the driving force behind the Hatters’ push for a place in the Premier League.

Ever since the Welshman took over at Luton when the club was in League Two back in January 2016, he has had a burning ambition to deliver top flight football to those at Kenilworth Road once more.

Now an established Championship outfit, going into the new campaign on the back of a top 12 finish and with a new-look squad in place including the likes of Jerome and Henri Lansbury, there is a quiet optimism from those at the club that Town are navigating a course for a first return to the top flight since 1992 in the not too distance future.

When asked for his assessment of Luton’s chances, Jerome, said: “In my mind, everything’s possible.

“Speaking of how enthusiastic and determined the manager is, that speaks volumes.

"When a manager really believes the club can get there, the players can buy into the manager’s philosophy, which I think they already have done at the football club.

“The target always was promotion to the Premier League since he walked through the door.

“That is not going to change from his perspective or from the clubs’ perspective.

"They have an eight-year plan and they are four or five years into that.

“It is all about progression. Last year they finished 12th so now it is about trying to get into the top 10, top eight, can you push up to the upper realms of the division and compete?

“With the recruitment they have made this summer and the momentum they have built in previous years with the core of this squad, it is something that everyone is looking forward to, to try and challenge.

“The club wants to progress, they want to go in the right direction and I’m looking forward to being a part of that and seeing how far we can push this year, if we can push on and break into the upper realms and be competitive, not just there to make up the numbers.

“It will be interesting to see how we get on but there is optimism throughout the club, the manager is at the forefront of that, he is driving it on and that is the key factor.”

Jerome is a player with vast experience of winning promotion from the second tier, having done it with Birmingham and Norwich earlier in his career.

On what is needed to achieve the goal, the former England U21 forward continued: “You’ve got to have luck, you’ve got to earn the right and you’ve got to be good enough to win games, ultimately. It’s an ultra competitive division, like everybody knows.

“Some of the teams that have come down are really strong. Some of the teams that didn’t go up last year are really strong, but you’ve just got to believe you can do it.

"You’ve seen throughout the years how many quality squads and teams have struggled to get out of the division when they’re probably expected to do so.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to be promoted three times out of the seven years I’ve played in there, and all three times we’ve had good squads, we’ve had competitive squads, which I think the club is trying to do, trying to add depth to certain positions.

“You’ve got to go out there week in, week out and prove you’re good enough to win football matches, that’s what it boils down to.

“If you’ve got the players and the squad to do so, you’re always going to give yourself a fighting chance.”

Although having only been with the Hatters for a few weeks, Jerome, who scored in the 4-0 win over Rochdale on Saturday, believes that a real unity is needed to mount any kind of a challenge either this season or next.

Having prior knowledge of what is needed to go up will also be a significant boost as the striker added: "Speaking from past experience, first and foremost you need the quality to be able to do so, but you need a togetherness.

“That and squad harmony is always the key to success.

“It’s not an individual sport, it’s a team sport, so you need everybody on board, to buy into what the club’s doing, what the team’s doing.

“Competition for places, that’s always key, because, if you’ve got hungry players who want to keep the shirt, that always improves the squad and the team.

“Obviously, the togetherness has been a key factor in the rise since the manager’s been at the club through the divisions.

“Straight away, that’s something you’d identify with Luton, the togetherness and the core group of players that have had that success of getting out of the division.

“They’re used to going on runs, come the business end of the season and that’s always vital.

"If you can be in with a chance of finishing in the top places then experience always counts in promotion from any division.

“The club’s obviously got a lot of recent history, in terms of the success they’ve had through promotions.

"So, that’s going to be a key thing that could be in our favour, come the end of the season.

"If we’re good enough and we’ve our ourselves in a position to be able to challenge and fight for those positions."