Luton will be looking to make it a fifth successive season in which they have improved their position on the Football League pyramid.
Since the 2015/16 campaign, the Hatters have won two promotions and have experienced final day survival. However, the progression does not seem to be dying down just yet.
Luton sit in a comfortable 16th position and will be relieved that they are not in immediate danger of relegation this year. The Hatters spent a large chunk of last season bottom of the table, but the return of Nathan Jones helped steer the Hatters to safety.
In a campaign where building on last season was a priority, the Bedfordshire club are certainly on their way to achieving that. Their leaky defence was a problem that needed to be addressed, and after 35 games in the 2019/20 campaign, Luton had conceded 70 league goals. This time around, Luton have shipped 29 fewer goals than at the 35-game mark last season.
Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against promotion-chasing Swansea City, brought about mixed emotions for Luton fans. A feeling of frustration was evident having not taken at least a point, but there were also feelings of accomplishment.
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Although they did not gain anything tangible, the Hatters dominated a Swansea side who sit second in the league, demonstrating how far they have come in recent times.
With the Hatters seemingly settling for a comfortable mid-table position, expectations will once again be high next year. Breaking into the top half would be deemed as good progress and is certainly an achievable target under Nathan Jones’ leadership.
The Welshman has made some brilliant signings this year, with summer acquisition Jordan Clark and the January additions of Kal Naismith and Elijah Adebayo, all emerging as first-team regulars.
Clark, who signed from Accrington Stanley on a free transfer, has been particularly impressive, with his versatility an asset that Jones has been testing.
The 27-year-old has been predominantly used in his most natural right-wing position but has recently been deployed across the back-line. However, he has passed every test that the Welshman has thrown at him with flying colours, picking up a few man-of-the-match awards along the way.
The signing of Clark typifies how Luton operate as a club, trusting and picking up players from the lower divisions and swiftly turning them into Championship-ready individuals.
Luton will also be looking to reap the rewards of a third season in the second tier from a financial perspective, and whilst still not possessing the spending power of the majority of their Championship counterparts, they will certainly be starting to attract higher-level personnel.