Luton Town in safe hands under Jones’ stewardship

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Luton Town in safe hands under Jones’ stewardship

By Brandon Prangell

If a Luton Town fan had told you when Nathan Jones took over management of the club on 6th January 2016 that they would be 5th in League One, you could be forgiven for laughing.

But this is their reality, Nathan Jones has got the club firing on all cylinders to as far as promotion to the Championship is a possibility.

The Welshman has been the reason they didn’t get relegated back down to the National League, finishing in 11th. While his smart transfer policy has seen the club only get stronger over time.

After a mid-table finish in the 2015-16 campaign, the 45-year-old brought in eight new faces while axing 12.
2016-2017 would be a much better season for Jones as his side only featured outside the top for one week the entire season.

They also got to the semi-final of the EFL Trophy only to get beaten by Oxford United. The 2017-2018 season is the one that football fans will remember though as they finished second only behind Accrington Stanley.

During this season there transfer strategy would be to sign experienced faces that would be able to push them over the promotion threshold, and that’s exactly what they did.

Goalkeeper Marek Štěch joined from Sparta Prague; Alan McCormack from Brentford; Andrew Shinnie from Birmingham, who later signed permanently and James Collins from Crawley were the most notable signings.

Between McCormack, Shinnie, and Collins they had been involved in 43 goals, but it was most notably the former Crawley man that made the difference moving forward forming a lethal strike partnership with Danny Hylton.

The pair scored 43 goals between them and were one of the most feared strike duos in English football. Their goal tally stood at 63 in early December time, one more than Manchester City.

Also during the Christmas period, they had another astonishing achievement as after beating both Stevenage 7-1 and Cambridge 7-0. They became the first team in the history of the English Football League to score seven or more goals on three occasions before the festive period.

The season itself started the best way possible with an 8-2 win over Yeovil Town and James Collins scored a hat-trick on his debut.

Between November 21 2017 and March 10 2018, they were top of the league table. They would be displaced by Accrington Stanley but managed to leapfrog them before long.

Finishing with 94 goals the most scored that season was impressive, and they have continued in the same vein of form currently placed 5th after 16 matches.

Jorge Grant and Eunan O’Kane were brought in on loan, addressing their lack of numbers in the midfield. Sonny Bradley and Kazenga LuaLua also joined The Hatters.

It hasn’t been quite plain sailing for Jones’ men as they’ve lost four league matches but those sides are arguably established League One teams, and all are in the top 12 of the league this season.

So far, they have got some great result,. drawing with Sunderland and beating Walsall 2-0. Luton have also been putting away the weaker teams this season.

Five sides in the bottom 12 have felt the power of the League Two runner-ups. Scunthorpe United and Shrewsbury Town were both in the League One playoff’s last season and both conceded three when playing them.

What has been great this season is Hylton and Elliot Lee being the main goal threats for the Bedfordshire based club, as both strikers have five goals and are among the top 25 scorers in the league.

With Rochdale and Plymouth Argyle coming up in the league, Luton can use this to there advantage as both sit in the bottom half of the table.

Though both Rochdale and Plymouth have won their last match, as Charlton lost 1-0 to Rochdale and Plymouth beat relegation strugglers Scunthorpe United 4-1, the game before that they thrashed Gillingham 3-1.

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About Author

News writer for Prost International, I get out to games but mainly cover EFL and women's football. Found here: https://twitter.com/BrandonPrangell

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