New recruit Sonny Bradley believes the Hatters squad he is about to join can cope comfortably with moving up a level to Sky Bet League One.
Last summer the centre-half made exactly the same step up as Nathan Jones’ Town are currently taking, having won promotion with Plymouth Argyle as League Two runners-up.
The Pilgrims won just once in their opening 14 matches last term, but then mounted a stunning recovery to finish seventh – just one place and three points outside the play-offs.
Asked if there was a noticeable step up in standard, the 26-year-old told iFollow Hatters: “At first there was. We took a good few months to get used to it, but once we got going, there wasn’t really too much difference. A little bit sharper and a little bit quicker, but looking at the squad here it’s nothing they can’t handle.”
The quality of that squad Jones already has in place at Kenilworth Road made the decision to move up from the south-west much more straightforward for Bradley.
“Looking at the squad that’s here now was a massive selling point to me,” he said. “It’s something I want to be involved in, and also the manager as well – I was really impressed when I sat down with him.
“There’s a very good squad here and on paper, that squad should definitely be competing at the top end of League One in my opinion. It doesn’t always go that way, but I think if we have a strong pre-season there is no reason why we can’t hit the ground running.”
Having played at the Kenny for both Crawley and Argyle, the Hull-born defender is also looking forward to having the Hatters faithful on his side for a change.
“I’ve played here on the opposition’s team and it’s not nice – it feels like they are right on top of you, in your face,” he said. “I’ve taken some stick here when I’ve played here the last few seasons, but it’s good. It’s what the team needs.
“It’s nice knowing the fans are behind you and I think if we do that again this season, there’s no reason why we can’t have another good season.”
Plymouth attracted average crowds of 9,652 when they won promotion in 2016-17, and Bradley says the feel-good factor at Home Park – where gates grew to an average of 10,413 last term – helped the team flourish, and he fully expects the same in Bedfordshire.
“There was definitely a feel-good factor,” he said. “I think down at Plymouth as well, the fans have a massive say. They travel really well, and at home as well, the atmosphere – there were times when it wasn’t quite going right on the pitch and all of a sudden the fans back you, they get behind you, and it makes a massive difference to the way we were playing on the pitch. There were only positive things to say about the fan base down there.
“Luton have a really good fanbase, they get behind the team at home and I understand that last season they travelled really well as well, so I think the fans definitely have a massive part to play in the season.”