Jones' improving Hatters hoping for stress free 2021 - Interview
Monday, 11th Jan 2021 18:13 by Clive Whittingham
After running relegation about as close as you can without going down in 2019/20, Nathan Jones' Luton are now firmly midtable, closer to the play-offs than the drop. @LutonTownFans are revelling in a rare stress free campaign.
How has your season gone so far?
I think in general we’re doing as well as we could all realistically hope for given the club’s smaller resources compared to the majority of Championship clubs. We started this season like we finished the end of last season in excellent form. It’s tailed off in the past month or two as our away form has taken bit of a nosedive, however on the flip side our home form seems to have improved. 30 points from 22 games is a decent return when you consider it took us 33 games to get to the same points total last season.
Luton league results so far…
Nathan Jones doing the business again? Why does he fit so well at Luton?
I think his managerial style suits a club like Luton where he’s trying to get the best out of players who may not be in the same bracket as the multi-million pound superstars that other Championship clubs have. The players all buy into his philosophy and the majority of them have done so since they joined the club under him in League 2 and League 1.
What sort of style/formation can we expect? Are the wing backs back?
We’ve started with wingbacks and three centre backs a few times now, but for the most part we start with a back four and I’d expect us to on Tuesday as well in a 4-1-2-2-1. So a 4-3-3 when attacking and a 4-5-1 when defending.
Any potential January business being talked about?
No real substantial rumours yet, the club are normally quite good at not letting potential targets leak until they are pretty much a done deal. Hopefully no key players will leave.
Summer Ins >>> James Bree, 22, RB, Villa, Undisclosed >>> Joe Morrell, 23, CM, Bristol City, Undisclosed >>> Tom Lockyer, 25, CB, Charlton, Free >>> Jordan Clark, 26, RW, Accrington, Free >>> Gabriel Osho, 22, CB, Reading, Free >>> Dion Pereira, 21, CM, Atlanta, Free >>> Rhys Norrington-Davies, LB, 21, Sheff Utd, Loan >>> Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, 22, Leicester, Loan>>> Sam Nombe, 21, CF, MK Dons, Loan
Summer Outs >>> Marek Stech, 30, GK, Mansfield, Free >>> Frankie Musonda,22, CB, Raith Rovers, Free >>> Jake Jervis, 28, RW, Seinajoki (Finland), Free >>> Donervon Daniels, 26, CB, Crewe, Free >>> Lloyd Jones, 24, CB, Released >>> Jacob Butterfield 30, CM, Released >>> Callum McManaman, 29, RW, Released >>> Harry Isted, 23, GK, Wealdstone, Loan >>> Tiernan Parker, 19, GK, Hitchin, Loan >>> Gabriel Osho, 22, CB< Yeovil, Loan >>> Josh Neufville, 19, CF, Yeovil, Loan >>> Peter Kioso, 21, RB, Bolton, Loan >>> Andrew Shinnie, 31, CM, Charlton, Loan
Stand out players and weak links in the team?
Our stand out player so far this season has been central midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall by a country mile. He’s on loan from Leicester and is a pleasure to watch. He’s calm and composed on the ball and has obvious Premier League quality. I’d expect him to start breaking into the Leicester team next year. I just hope Brendan Rodgers doesn’t recall him in January as he’s already become key to our performances, winning MOTM in almost every game he’s played.
The weak link in the side is the right back area. James Bree was signed from Aston Villa to play there after doing well on loan with us last season, but with his injuries we’ve been having to play Martin Cranie (a defensive midfielder/centre-back) and Matty Pearson (a centre-back) in that position. Whilst they’ve not let themselves at all, it does mean we are a bit more limited attacking down that side compared to Rhys Norrington-Davies or Dan Potts on the left who are both natural full-backs.
Expectations for the rest of the season?
To continue with the same points per game rate from the first half of the season and achieve mid-table obscurity. For once as a Luton fan I’d just like a stress free season.
Where's the new stadium development got to?
The new stadium in the centre of town is going to be funded by a mixed use scheme of office, retail and leisure at Junction 10 of the M1 along with housing and a supermarket by the stadium. Covid-19 and a planning decision for another supermarket close by has affected those funding plans somewhat, so the club are currently in the process of modifying some of the plans for the stadium in what are being called ‘minor compromises’, so we’re currently waiting to see what that entails.
In terms of a timeline, the target date is to begin the two-year construction in the first half of 2022. So we’re still a year or so out from the build getting underway. So that’s at least another three and a half seasons at Kenilworth Road.
The Twitter @LutonTownFans, @loftforwords
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