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Jones Was Long On Coates' Radar

John Coates

JOHN COATES has revealed the reasons behind why the Club opted to make what was perceived to be a ‘left-field’ managerial appointment in January.

Despite an endless list of vastly-experienced managers being linked with the then vacant managerial post at the bet365 Stadium, the powers that be instead opted to hand the reins to the relatively unknown Nathan Jones.

The highly-regarded boss enjoyed three-and-a-half hugely successful years at Kenilworth Road, elevating Luton Town to the brink of the Championship having taken over the club with them languishing in the lower echelons of League Two.

When asked by a supporter how the appointment came about, the Potters Vice-Chairman revealed that the Welshman had long been on his radar, having first been brought to his attention by a ‘football addicted’ close friend.

“Nathan had actually been on my radar for a couple of years,” he told supporters at the Club’s Fans Forum event on Thursday evening.

“Bizarrely, a friend of mine, who watches three-games-a-week all over the country, met him in a pub when he was about a year into managing Luton.

“He said to me, `you’d love him John, he’s just immersed in football.’ So he was on our radar from then and I relayed this conversation to Dad (Peter Coates) and to Tony (Scholes)."

“So we were watching his career and seeing the Luton side he’d produced, doing well and playing an interesting brand of football with a diamond system, which was incredibly unusual for that level of football.

“They were scoring goals, but also had hugely impressive defensive qualities after bringing in players like Sonny Bradley and really helping to develop them and make them better players.

“So when we came to make the change, I remembered the conversation. We were stood having a chat - me, Dad, Tony and Richard Smith. We said a few names and I said `what about Nathan Jones.’

“We agreed to see him, we saw him and you sometimes just feel this is right, and that is the exact feeling that we all got.

“He had great passion for the game, but also a very, very clear mind about what he wanted and how he wanted to play and how to improve us. He’d done a colossal amount of homework in a short period of time on our Club.”

Coates added: “He’s a young manager and we have got to give him the support and the time he and his staff need, because they will encounter difficulties.

“But we absolutely believe he was the right choice and still absolutely believe he’s the right choice - I am very excited about the future, and having the opportunity of working with him to bring success back to the Club.”

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