The former Brighton and Yeovil coach - who will be assisted by Hatters legend Mick Harford - was. An emotional, heart-on-the-sleeve character, Jones is determined to gain redemption and has another chance to make his mark. Manager Nathan Jones is relishing the opportunity to reacquaint himself with the Kenilworth Road faithful should permission be granted to allow 2,000 fans back into the ground. hey say never go back but, 16 months on from an acrimonious exit. Read about our approach to external linking. Supporters felt particularly betrayed when, two days after leaving, Jones was pictured cradling the League One manager of the month award – won with Luton – in a Stoke tracksuit. He failed miserably at Stoke – he won six of 38 matches in charge – but has an opportunity to repair his reputation. The Welshman, 46, has signed a "long-term" deal to return to Kenilworth Road 16 months after choosing to leave. The latest rumours and stories from around the world of football. Nathan Jones says he has ‘made peace’ with his decision to return to Luton after being sacked by Stoke. Fans and staff felt betrayed when their manager left in a promotion season – now he’s back to save them from the drop, Last modified on Fri 29 May 2020 15.18 BST. Luton Town manager Nathan Jones was almost lost for words as he tried to sum up Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s performance against Birmingham City … At Stoke he failed to get results from the most expensively assembled squad in the division and yet, at Luton, he eked out every last sinew from each player, some of whom have struggled to reach the same heights since. In an interview prior to … When the Hatters parted company with Graeme Jones last month, they said the decision was "in order to reduce its cost base", adding that they were not considering or reviewing any applications for the role. It is not always plain sailing – returns to Blackpool and Stevenage for Simon Grayson and Graham Westley respectively ended in tears earlier this season – and, unlike Howe, Jones has some making up to do with fans, as well as some players. But there is no time to dwell on the past. “I either did it in a Stoke top or bare-chested and that was a naive mistake.”. "Let's put any of those differences behind us - one week of madness shouldn't detract from those three fantastic years that Nathan gave us before. Now all parties regard the episode as water under the bridge. Jones left under a cloud to manage Stoke in January 2019; Graeme Jones … “He’s man enough to admit he made a mistake,” says Harford, who will be the assistant manager under Jones. “People say you shouldn’t do this, you shouldn’t do that but deep in my heart this feels right,” he says. The Hatters fell behind to Lukas Jutkiewicz’s penalty midway through the first half at Kenilworth Road but equalised before half-time courtesy of Matty Pearson’s close-range strike. Last updated on 28 May 202028 May 2020.From the section Luton. When I have peace, they are normally the right decisions.”. “I’ve had time to think and talk it over with my wife and the key people in my life, and that includes going to God with it, and it sits right. in November after winning just six of his 38 matches with the club. “We believe we’ve got the manager who will not only get us out of trouble but move us forward.”. Luton boss Nathan Jones told BBC Three Counties Radio: "It's a shame there's no fans here because I think it would be bouncing right now, the volume levels would be through the roof. These are exceptional circumstances - the Hatters face severe financial consequences if relegated in these coronavirus times. “It’s like a scene from ET [at training] at the minute because of all the testing; the league protocols are all in place and it’s very surreal,” he says. Luton are second-bottom of the Championship, six points from safety, with many second-tier clubs returning to training this week more than two months after the season was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. Some supporters still have grievances with Jones for what they deemed a sly and sudden departure to Stoke, where he lasted seven months before being sacked in November with the club in the Championship relegation zone. They say never go back but, 16 months on from an acrimonious exit, Nathan Jones’s return to Luton ranks as one of the more unlikely managerial comebacks. "I had a fantastic relationship with the fans - I betrayed that. Nathan Jones returns as manager of Luton Town with 'repaired differences' This article is more than 3 months old . Luton boss Nathan Jones spoke of the importance of his side’s “glorious” 1-0 victory at Sheffield Wednesday following back-to-back defeats. “But it feels like home and that was a big, big thing to come back.”, Nathan Jones returns as manager of Luton Town with 'repaired differences'. The Hatters fell behind to Lukas Jutkiewicz’s penalty midway through the first half at Kenilworth Road but equalised … "Every observer knows exactly what we thought about Nathan when he left for Stoke and we could hardly hide that disappointment at the time," said chief executive Gary Sweet. Jones’s exit cut so deep that, until not so long ago the club’s chief executive, Gary Sweet, ignored his calls and, at the time, the chairman, David Wilkinson, said the manager “showed he is not the man he professes to be”. He has nothing to lose and not playing in front of supporters could bizarrely be a blessing for him in the early stages as he seeks to win fans around all over again. Luton Town manager Nathan Jones was almost lost for words as he tried to sum up Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s performance against Birmingham City … more than two months after the season was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. But he says the motivation to resume the journey and build on what he had achieved previously is now his focus. Luton are second-bottom of the Championship, six points from safety, with many second-tier clubs. Jones’ stock has fallen but he turned down several offers to return to management sooner and, via that sojourn at Stoke, he has an opportunity to continue what he started four years ago when he galvanised and energised a mid-table League Two team who were going nowhere fast. How to get into football - the most popular sport in the world, with clubs and facilities throughout the UK. Luton Town manager Nathan Jones was pleased with the second-half performance which secured the win over Rotherham United. But I had to earn that, let's not forget, because I wasn't embraced immediately and that's exactly what I intend to do again.". The former Brighton and Yeovil coach - who will be assisted by Hatters legend Mick Harford - was sacked by Stoke in November after winning just six of his 38 matches with the club. Analysis and opinion from our chief football writer. Newly reappointed Luton boss Nathan Jones says he must regain the respect of fans after he "betrayed" them in the way he left for Stoke last year. Nathan Jones is set to seal a return to Luton and be reappointed as the Championship side’s new manager on Thursday. Graeme Jones, his successor and predecessor at Luton, switched tactics and personnel – Elliot Lee and George Moncur were pushed to the fringes, while only the captain, Sonny Bradley, Matthew Pearson, Pelly Ruddock and James Collins started both Luton’s last game against Wigan in March and Nathan Jones’s last league game in charge. Get latest scores and headlines sent straight to your phone, sign-up to our newsletter and learn where to find us on online. ‘Other decisions I’ve made, I haven’t’ he adds. Nathan Jones' departure went down sourly with Hatters fans and the club board. Jones led Luton to promotion from League Two in 2017-18, before departing in January 2019 when they were second in the League One table. Luton boss Nathan Jones felt his side should have claimed all three points during their 1-1 draw against Birmingham in the Championship. The squad are almost identical to the one he fine-tuned and left behind but for Alan Sheehan, now of Lincoln, and the marauding full-backs James Justin and Jack Stacey, now of Leicester and Bournemouth respectively. Jones realises that the manner and timing of his departure was poor and accepts he will need to build bridges and earn the fans' trust again. The death that sparked questions about a bomb victim rescue group. "I went against everything they'd [Luton supporters] given me," he said. At a time when in politics sorry seems to be the hardest word, a remorseful Jones made it look easy during a virtual press conference on Thursday, discussing his regret at the manner of his exit – “that will never happen again” – and, at one point, apologising by holding his hands up. Luton are six points from safety with nine games remaining and, if they are to escape relegation Jones will need to, as Sweet put it, hit the ground sprinting. Nathan Jones says he has ‘made peace’ with his decision to return to Luton after being sacked by Stoke. But the Luton board has evidently forgiven. “When I came here [to Stoke], that wasn’t quite the case.”. ‘Other decisions I’ve made, I haven’t’ he adds. Nathan Jones says Joe Rothwell’s pre-match claim that Rovers should ‘expect to beat’ Luton was something his dressing room used as motivation. The timing was poor and people felt left down by Jones, who had declared his love for the club so openly. I have peace with this decision – other decisions I’ve made, I haven’t. Fifteen players he signed are still at the club. When he accepted his Manager of the Month award - won with Luton - in his Stoke tracksuit, the betrayal was complete. Photo: James Gill/Danehouse/Getty Images. It was Mick Harford, who had stepped up from recruitment officer to finish the job of getting Luton promoted, who encouraged Sweet to pick up the phone to Jones. “I’m a better manager now, ironically, than when I left,” Jones says. Nathan Jones led Luton to promotion from League Two in 2018 during his previous three-year spell in charge. “I had no other clothes on me,” he said. “I was tested to the absolute maximum but I can guarantee you do learn far more about yourself through adversity than when things are hunky dory.”. But it was not just fans left with a sour taste when the Welshman moved on midway through a season that culminated in Luton being crowned League One champions. Luton boss Nathan Jones felt his side should have claimed all three points during their 1-1 draw against Birmingham in the Championship. Sweet cited Eddie Howe’s return to Bournemouth from Burnley as an example of how managers can successfully retraced their steps and there are others in the Football League who have had joy in going back for seconds, notably John Coleman at Accrington, the outgoing Nigel Clough at Burton and Mark Robins, who has led Coventry to the League One summit. “I had just left a group [at Luton] that basically would have run over their granny for a win,” he said last year. BBC Sport looks back at some of the most memorable Premier League meetings between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in recent years. Jones told BBC Three Counties Radio: "I love the club and I wholeheartedly regret how those events came about because I could've handled that so much better. ", Geoff Doyle, BBC Three Counties Radio sports editor. "[But] Nathan's gone to great and humble lengths to make sure that has been fully repaired.
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