Inconsistent Hatters well in touch with the top - Interview
Wednesday, 17th Nov 2021 15:46 by Clive Whittingham
Luton's results have been all over the map, with a 5-0 home defeat and 5-0 home victory already on the slate, but standing just two points shy of the top six they're well placed to make good on pre-season tips of being a dark horse. We spoke to @LutonTownFans...
How would you assess Luton's start to the season?
It’s been a mixed bag really, but we probably should have more points on the balance of the games played. We had a lot of injuries towards the beginning, which didn’t help, but we are a point better off at this stage than last season and only two points off yourselves in sixth. I won’t hold my breath that we catch you up on Friday though given that we’ve not won in the last 37 years (18 games) at your place.
Luton league results thus far…
You were quite a few pundits' tip as a dark horse in the summer but results have been very inconsistent so far, how good do we think this Luton team is?
I think it’s a good Luton team and better than last season’s team in most areas except in midfield at the moment. The Championship is such that any team really can beat any team and it looks like about 14 teams could compete for the last two play-off spots, so if we can find some consistency then there’s enough ability in the squad for a top six finish. However, to get there we’d still need to be maxing out player performances, whereas that may not be the case with some other Championship club’s squads.
What do you make of the job Nathan Jones is doing?
The fact some people even have us as dark horses of the play offs shows what a good job Nathan Jones is doing on a budget which salary wise would be in the bottom three in the Championship. He’s not a manager who will settle, so I think most fans expect the club to keep progressing whilst he is in charge.
What summer transfer business was done and how do you assess it now in hindsight?
Allan Campbell, Admiral Muskwe and Fred Onyedinma have been hampered by injuries, but they back now and most of their performances have been promising. Reece Burke has been steady at centre back when he has played, but he seems to currently be competing with Tom Lockyer for the right centre back position, due to Kal Naismith’s performances in the centre back three.
Amari’i Bell at left wing back has been very good signing and fitted in nicely. Henri Lansbury has played well in midfield when he’s started and is probably our most comfortable midfielder in possession of the ball. Carlos Mendes Gomes has had a tough time getting in the matchday squad through a combination of making the step up from League 2 and our formation changing from more of a 4-3-3 to a 5-3-2/3-5-2. Another slight disappointment is that Cameron Jerome probably hasn’t been at the level he’d expect of himself when he’s lead the frontline.
Summer Ins >>> Admiral Muskwe, 22, CF, Leicester, Undisclosed >>> Carlos Mendes Gomes, 22, RW, Morecambe, Undisclosed >>> Fred Onyedinma, 24, RW, Wycombe, Undisclosed >>> Allan Campbell, 22, DM, Motherwell, Undisclosed >>> Amari’i Bell, 27, LB, Blackburn, Free >>> Cameron Jerome, 34, ST, MK Dons, Free >>> Henri Lansbury, 30, CM, Bristol City, Free >>> Reece Burke, 24, CB, Hull, Free
Summer Outs >>> Joe Morrell, 24, CM, Porstmouth, Undisclosed >>> James Collins, 30, ST, Cardiff, Free >>> Matty Pearson, 27, CB, Huddersfield, Free >>> Kazenga LuaLua, 30, LW, Genclerbirligi (Turkey), Free >>> George Moncur, 27, CM, Hull, Free >>> Ryan Tunnicliffe, 28, CM, Portsmouth, Free >>> Corey Panter, 20, CB, Dundee, Free >>> Brendan Galloway, 25, LB, Released >>> Tiernan Parker, 19, GK, Released >>> Jack Chambers, 20, CM, Released >>> Harry Isted, 24, GK, Released >>> Martin Cranie, 34, CB, Released >>> Elliot Lee, 26, CM, Charlton, Loan >>> Dion Pereira, 22, LW, Yeovil, Loan
Stand out players and weak links in the team?
Elijah Adebayo is crucial to making the team work. His partnership with upfront Harry Cornick can cause problems for opposition defences, which in turn has helped us increase our goals scored to 26 compared to last season’s 14 at this stage. Despite that I would say the midfield is a weak point from a creative standpoint, as a lot of our play can be direct from the back to Adebayo, which is fine when it works but when it doesn’t we need our midfield to gain more control.
Revised expectations for the season?
At the moment it feels like a lower half finish would be a disappointment. I think most fans would consider a top ten finish to be a successful season.
The Twitter @LutonTownFans, @loftforwords
Pictures – Action Images
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