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Striker believes manager's reappointment is best chance of survival

16 June 2020

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Hatters striker James Collins has described bringing Nathan Jones back to the club as ‘a stroke of genius’ as the players continue their preparations for the Championship restart.

Football returns to Kenilworth Road on Saturday afternoon when Town take on Preston North End and a familiar face will return to the dugout.

Sixteen months after leaving for Stoke City, Jones is back and Collins didn’t hide his happiness, stating: “I really get on with the gaffer and even when he left for Stoke I still kept in contact with him and we got on really well and to be fair I think it’s a stroke of genius getting him back managing wise.

“I think he is the best chance of us staying up this year and he knows all the lads, he knows the way we play, he knows the club and I think the lads are really happy to have him back and so am I.”

The 29-year-old was used mainly across the forward line in a wider position under manager Graeme Jones, but understands his involvement may change to re-implement Nathan’s style.

Speaking to the local media after training yesterday afternoon, and ahead of today's 4-2 friendly win over Brentford at Kenilworth Road, in which he scored, Collins said: “His way of playing the diamond is different to the old manager, he likes his centre forwards staying more central, which is better for whoever is playing upfront...and maybe not as much running as it was before!"

The Hatters will restart the season six points adrift of safety in 23rd place and Collins is well aware of the need to obtain positive results ‘sooner rather than later’.

“We know that the only way we can stay up is by winning games,” the former Crawley Town striker began. “We know we have to do that sooner rather than later, so it is really important that we do hit the ground running when the season starts again as the quicker we get those points on the board, the easier it will be to stay up.

“We know it’s not going to be easy, we know we’ve got a lot of teams around us fighting for the same thing, but there hasn’t been a points tally spoken about between the lads, not that I’ve heard for us to get to, we just know we need to win as many games as we can and I think we're quietly confident that if we do play to how we know we can, we can do it.

Games will come thick and fast for the Hatters with the nine remaining games taking place across five weeks, to which Collins added:

“It’s a tough run-in but it’s the same for everyone. It’s not just Luton Town who are playing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, it’s everyone in the league.

"So I think we’ve got a good enough squad to manage it and I think it’s going to be testing, but the teams that handle that the best are going to win the most games.”

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