Given that Luton Town were among the favourites for the drop in the English Championship relegation odds at the beginning of the season, many will be surprised to see them finishing the season in the comfort of mid-table security. Nathan Jones has continued to do a fine job with the Bedfordshire club, and the current campaign is another fine achievement for the young coach.
With the season drawing to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on Luton’s season and analyse the good and the bad.
Jones is a man who needs no introduction. Having guided Luton from League Two all the way to the Championship, he holds a special place in the hearts of all Hatters fan, and much of the club’s success is owed to the Welshman. Of course, he left his post in 2019 to manage Stoke City, but when that didn’t work out, he was brought back to Luton last season with the club mired in the relegation zone, before guiding the team to a 19th-place finish.
This season, things have gone smoothly for Jones. He has restored much of the trust that might have been lost when he moved to Stoke, and his success in the role is difficult to argue with. Luton fans will be hoping that there are plenty more memories to be made with Jones at the helm.
The star players
Once again, striker James Collins has been at the forefront of Luton Town’s success. The Irishman has been a reliable goalscorer throughout the club’s rise through the divisions, and while 10 Championship goals this season isn’t quite the level he aspires to, those strikes have been crucial to Luton’s good overall form this term.
The likes of Elijah Adebayo and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall also deserve credit for their performances, but it’s been very much a team effort this season from Luton’s players, and that is reflected in the fact that they have comfortably avoided the drop.
How it unfolded
It’s fair to say that, up until quite recently, Luton were hardly pulling up any trees in the Championship this season. After starting well by winning three of their first four matches, a long period of indifferent form has defined most of the campaign. The key for Luton this season has been their ability to grind out victories and put an end to bad spells of form. There has never been a point where a mini run of bad results has snowballed, and that is a credit to Jones and his team in a division where it is very easy to get swept away in winless runs.
Despite many punters backing Luton for relegation in the Championship odds, they have put some form together in the latter half of the season and gained some momentum. Seven wins from their last 14 games ensured their rise into the middle reaches of the Championship table – a run which has included victories over Preston, Watford and Bristol City. They are unbeaten in their last six outings, and overall it’s been a stellar end to the season for the Hatters.