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Nathan Jones' return | Two years on...

Celebrating two years since Nathan Jones returned to Kenilworth Road

28 May 2022

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“Then all of a sudden, it just said at the top of the screen, Nathan Jones has joined the chat, and out of nowhere, Nathan was on the screen. I could see everyone’s faces. A few of the boys were surprised, but there were big smiles on everyone’s faces and I think a few of the boys were really happy.”

That was the initial reaction of club captain Sonny Bradley after Nathan Jones’ infamous zoom return on this day two years ago.

Supporters need no such reminding of the heroics he performed to keep Luton Town in the Sky Bet Championship after picking up 16 points in the remaining nine matches, including the final day victory against Blackburn Rovers to ensure survival.

But the impressive form didn’t end in July 2020, in fact it was the start of a new chapter under the Welshman who had his mind set on progression.

Celebrating his return two years on, we look back at five great moments during his second tenure...

1) Derby Day victory

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The 2020/21 season will be remembered for sealing a first top-half Championship finish for the first time since 2006, and there was one particular win that was a standout highlight for Jones, staff and fans alike. 

James Collins came off the bench to score a penalty with his first touch as the Hatters earned a well-deserved derby victory, to the delight of the gaffer! (pictured above)

“For us to do what we did to them, we didn’t just win, we were totally dominant from start to finish. For me it was one of the most complete performances since I have been a manager, considering the opposition and the level."

2) Extending his stay

On New Year's Day, Nathan Jones put pen to paper to extend his stay at Kenilworth Road through till the end of the 2026/27 campaign. 

“I’m so proud to manage this fantastic club, but also of the fact that I’m the one entrusted to take it on to the next phase. We have been on a journey since 2016, and to be entrusted with the phases of the development here in a town and community that I love, I feel so humbled.”

 

I think we are in a wonderful place, and we know where we want to get to. We know all the things that need to happen along the way for that to happen, and we are in a real good stage of that. I would love to be at the forefront of taking us to the Premier League, which is something that we believe is more than realistic."

 

3) THE knee slide

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 “What a way to win a game. It is probably the best way to win a game because there is no coming back from it. The roof came off, my hammy is gone, my knees are gone, absolutely everything! Some days emotions take over you.”

Nathan went all out in his celebrations after Kal Naismith scored a 97th minute winner against AFC Bournemouth, sprinting down the touchline and producing a stunning knee slide in front of the jubilant home fans!

4) Celebrating with the fans

Following the impressive away win against Swansea City that took Luton to within three points of the play-off places, Jones jumped over the advertising boards and saluted the travelling supporters who travelled to Wales on a Tuesday night!

5) Manager of the Year

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“It’s a wonderful honour and I felt very proud to accept it on behalf of everyone. I know it’s an individual accolade but as the cliché goes, you’re only as strong as the team behind you and I have a very good group which has enabled me to individually win something like this.”

After leading the Hatters to a remarkable sixth place finish, Nathan Jones was recognised for his efforts at the EFL awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in April. 

He received further recognition after being shortlisted for the LMA Manager of the Year award, won by Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp.


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