Hatters legend Mick Harford believes Nathan Jones returning to the club as first-team manager is ‘what’s best for Luton Town Football Club’ and has placed on record his support for the Welshman.
Jones arrived back at The Brache this morning on his 47th birthday 16 months after leaving to join Stoke City.
Following the departure of Graeme Jones as manager back in April, chief recruitment officer Harford temporarily acted as a relationship manager between the board, staff and the playing squad on football matters with a view to taking charge of the nine remaining Championship games.
But following the re-appointment of Nathan, the now assistant manager Harford has revealed he is ‘very pleased’ the man who is statistically the most successful manager in the Hatters’ League history is back at Kenilworth Road.
He said: “I’m very pleased we have got Nathan as manager, and if Gary asked me to do a job I would try and do it to the best of my ability. Am I relieved? If I was asked to do it then I would try and do it and like Nathan said, try and keep the club in the Championship.
“I think it’s a real positive step that the club have taken in terms of bringing Nathan back and I think it gives us the best chance of staying in the Championship. I totally echo what Gary says, I will support the board on the decision and I’m here to support Nathan as the assistant. I will do whatever it takes to secure our status in the Championship.”
After play was halted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic following Town’s 0-0 draw against Wigan Athletic, the Hatters at the time sat in 23rd place, six points adrift of safety.
Having overseen the change in management, Mick added: “People don't want to see managers leave the club or lose their jobs. Obviously Graeme left. We know that's the nature of the game. When Nathan left I did try to persuade him to stay, but he took his wishes and went up to Stoke City.
“I just think he's shown great sincerity and great remorse and we move on. He's man enough to admit that he made a mistake. We believe we've got the manager he will not only get us out of trouble but move us forward and it's best for the football club.
“It's not about me, it's about what's best for Luton Town Football Club, and that's what I fully believe in. I'm 100 per cent certain that Nathan coming back is the best thing to take this club forward.”
The relationship between the pair continued despite his move to fellow Championship side Stoke, as Harford explained: “I met Nathan loads of times at games, certain matches where we would bump into each other and I had been up to Stoke two or three times to watch them play and the teams we were playing against.
“We had always basically kept in touch and it was a case of Nathan wanting to re-right a wrong, and I believe he sincerely wanted to do that and just put things right, because Nathan 100 per cent gets the DNA of this football club and that’s probably the main reason why he is back here now because of his passion for the football club.”