Hatters boss Nathan Jones has described his first week back at Luton Town football club as a ‘whirlwind’ but has plenty of praise for his players who have been working hard ahead of the Championship season resuming.
The 47-year-old became a father this week and spoke of his delight on the safe arrival of Olivia Grace Evie: “It feels amazing, it’s the best feeling,” Nathan began. “I was told about it but until you experience it, it’s something you can’t really put in to words but it’s the most amazing feeling and I’m very proud of my wife, it has been a long time coming for me, so I’m delighted.
“Since I have been staying down here, we were sort of looking for a convenient day for the baby to come! Fortunately, I only missed one day of training, so she did brilliant for me there and obviously we were off yesterday so that allowed me to have a day with my daughter.”
On the training pitch, Jones has been as busy as usual and praised the efforts of his players who are working towards the provisional restart date of June 20th.
“It was nothing I didn’t expect because I know this is a good group,” the manager commented when asked about how the players have been since his return.
“I remember speaking to Graeme when we played West Brom last year, obviously he had been approached by Luton and I said ‘look you’ve got a great group to work with’, so I knew coming back it would be a great group and it’s brilliant to be back with them.
“It’s everything I expected – intensity, a real good attitude, an openness to do things we ask them to and that’s all you can ask from a footballer. Great group and I’m delighted to be back with them.
“A lot of these players I built a relationship with that was more than just a manager-player, we had a real bond.
“Obviously I played with Martin Cranie, I know him from Yeovil. During my time at Yeovil, Martin was around either with us or Southampton on loan.
“Also, I had Cameron at Stoke and then I’ve known people like Jacob Butterfield, Moncs I brought in just before we left. So I know a lot of them and then young players, Bolton and Bree, I’ve watched so I know pretty much all of them.
“Simon Sluga is probably the only one I didn’t know anything about, but I’m quickly learning about him, as I said before it’s about slipping in to the old way of doing stuff and with others it’s just about getting them into the environment we create because that’s why I wanted to come in if I possibly could.
On the proposed restart date of June 20th due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Welshman added: “It’s important you get a focus because we’re not just training for the sake of training. It’s going to be a real testing time for a lot of reasons but to prepare a squad in three, three-and-a-half weeks is going to be tough but then to prepare it for nine games in 29 days, that’s very, very tough.
“It is good having that for a provisional start date because you can work backwards from there with what you want to do and as I said, we’re cranking up the sessions, they’re not at the level they need to be they’re getting there very quickly.”