Press Conference | Nathan Jones pre-Birmingham City (H)

Nathan Jones has said that progression this season starts with a positive result in the season opener against Birmingham City on Saturday.


His side suffered defeat home and away against Birmingham last term, a record he will be keen to ensure doesn’t continue.

“We like progression so the first progression we can do this season is don't get beat by Birmingham because it happened twice last year,” Jones said when speaking to BBC Three Counties. “We had two disappointing results against Birmingham and the first game came really unexpectedly, the second game I can only put down to the disruption of the game as such.

“We will look to write that wrong, but Birmingham will have their own motivation, a new manager who is a really good guy so they will have high hopes at the start of the season, but we want to continue where we left off.”

After bettering their league position for the seventh successive campaign in 2021/22, the word ‘progression’ is still at the forefront of Jones’ mind.

“When you set high bars you have to maintain and clear them. That is what we do, that is the ultimate goal. We know it is always going to be difficult and we have to be realistic, we’re not suddenly going to have a meteoric rise from 12th to 6th to 1st, let’s be realistic.

"We will strive for that but whether that is achievable in the short term is another thing. We want progression, we had our goal setting meeting this morning and we have to try and at least equal what we did last year and then try and go one better.”

There is plenty of competition amongst the squad with seven new recruits bolstering the boss’ options ahead of the new season.

One area in particular that has become stronger is the goalkeeping department, something the Welshman was keen to do after injury problems led to the Hatters naming six different goalkeepers in the starting line-up last term.

“We have three goalkeepers now who we believe are Championship quality and that can play. Since the 80s we haven’t had three goalkeepers here that have been Championship quality and we have that now.

“We believe in Ethan, we believe in Matt and Harry showed that he can step up. A year ago we didn’t know if Harry Isted could handle the Championship but he’s proved he could, so we’re in a better position than we ever have been since I’ve been here especially in the goalkeeping department.”

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