Gaffer pens new three-and-a-half year deal
We are delighted to announce that Nathan Jones has signed a new three-and-a-half year contract that will see him manage the Hatters until the summer of 2020.
The 43-year-old Welshman’s initial deal from being appointed Town boss in January 2016 was due to expire at the end of next season.
But with his side in contention for promotion to Sky Bet League One in his first full season in charge, the Kenilworth Road board have offered the ex-Brighton & Hove Albion coach a new deal for the rest of this term and the next three – and Jones was only too happy to put pen to paper ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Newport County.
Hatters CEO Gary Sweet said “The board are thoroughly delighted to receive Nathan’s acceptance to our offer of a longer term contract. It was such an easy and natural progression step for us to take.
“We are very lucky to have a top class coach rapidly becoming a top class manager and one who lives, breathes and helps develop our culture, our methodologies and one who is passionately intent on helping us achieve our ambitions whilst he achieves his.
“We’re more than content with the progress Nathan has made since agreeing to join us a little over a year ago and both he and the squad will continue to improve greatly the more time he has with that evolutionary process.
“This new deal further establishes us as a stable Club which is only going in one direction. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be a Luton fan with our promotion hopes alive and kicking and ambitions steadily being realised on and off the pitch with Nathan’s commitment being a vital component.
Nathan didn’t need much persuasion to put pen to paper when the offer was presented to him.
“I’m delighted to commit my future to Luton Town,” Jones told the Hatters’ official website. “It’s a club that’s been very good to me and I’m very proud to be manager.
“I think we’ve had a fantastic 14-15 months, and to know that the club has that much faith in me that they’ve given me the length of contract and rewarded me in that way is a good feeling.
“I think we’ve shown faith in each other. They’ve shown faith in me that they believe I can do the job that I believe I can do, and I believe that this is the club that I can do it at.
“I love the club, I love our fans and I love the players I’ve got. We are in a real good place at the minute, but it’s only a start.
“We want to develop, we want to improve and take the club forward on all levels, and we’ve made big strides in a year. Now it’s about making the next step and then even bigger strides.”
With nine games to go of the regular season, the Town sit fifth in the table – six points behind Portsmouth in the third automatic promotion spot, but with a game in hand.
That comes tomorrow night in his native south Wales, where in his 71st game in the Hatters’ hot-seat, Jones will be looking to increase his win rate of 48.6 per cent to strengthen his hopes of becoming a League One manager within 18 months of taking charge.
“That was the goal when I came here, within a year and a half to be a League One club and for that to be the first step on the road,” said Jones, who has also knocked Championship side Aston Villa out the EFL Cup and taken the Town to the semi-finals of the Checkatrade Trophy by beating four teams from a higher division.
“We want to get to a certain level and we want to get there in our time by planning the right way. We are right on schedule.
“We’ve got a fantastic facility we are soon to move into for training every day at The Brache. We’ve got planning applications in for developments that will change this town and area for the better. The stadium at Power Court will be so good it is winning awards before it’s even built!
“I’m very proud and honoured to be given the opportunity to manage Luton Town, and even more so now to be able to do that for the foreseeable future. I want to be the manager that leads the club into a wonderful new era.”
Jones currently stands third in the Hatters’ all-time post-war managers’ list in Football League matches, behind only Allan Brown and Joe Kinnear, with a win rate of 44.8 per cent from his 58 league games in charge.
In total he has been in charge for 70 fixtures – 34 wins, 17 draws and only 19 defeats – and asked what has been the highlight, Jones replied: “We’ve had good wins, but every day the highlight for me is seeing the environment we’ve got and the group of players we’ve got where every single day we keep doing the right things.
“They want to learn, they want to get better – and that for me is the highlight of having that kind of club.
“I’ve got a great relationship with the board – especially Gary Sweet, who I’d like to thank for the faith he shows in me and for the constant support I get – and it’s a club I love managing.
“Right throughout the club there are wonderful people and I’m very proud to be asked to guide them on the football side.”
NATHAN’S RECORD AS LUTON TOWN MANAGER:
OVERALL: P70 W34 D17 L19 F111 A75 – Win percentage 48.6%
Checkatrade W5 D0 L2 F19 A11 71.4%
FA Cup W2 D0 L1 F10 A5 66.7%
League Cup W1 D0 L1 F3 A2 50%
League Two W26 D17 L15 F79 A57 44.8%