When promoted back to the Championship in the 2018-19 season, thanks to winning the League One title with an impressive 94 points to regain their position in English football’s second tier for the first time in 12 years, most, including online betting sites like Betdaq, expected the Hatters to drop straight back down to League One at the first time of asking.
And, for the most part of the 2019-20 season, the Bedfordshire-based team’s fate looked sealed as they continuously flirted with the drop zone under the guidance of Graeme Jones. However, with the now England coach sacked during the coronavirus enforced hiatus, Nathan Jones was brought back to Kenilworth Road after a short and unsuccessful stint with Stoke City and the Welshman worked wonders to pull Luton out of the drop zone.
When the season restarted in late June, the Hatters lost just one of their nine remaining Championship games under Jones — winning four and drawing as many. It was deemed as a great escape as Luton avoided relegation by just three points, with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Blackburn Rovers on the final day of the season ultimately being the saving grace to a side once 10 points adrift.
Remarkably, and still against all the odds, the Hatters haven’t looked back since. They rounded off last season with a respectable 12th place finish, racking up a rather decent points tally of 62 — which was almost 20 points clear of Wycombe Wanderers in 22nd (the first of the three relegation places).
Looking at Luton so far this season, it seems that they have firmly re-established themselves as a regular Championship outfit, like they once were throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s before administrations and so on took their toll on the club and they fell all the way out of the football league pyramid to the National League.
Many will say that they are back where they belong after a decade or so of struggles and now in their third season back in the Championship they are proving their worth. With four wins, including impressive victories over Peterborough United (3-0) and promotion hopefuls Coventry City (5-0), six draws and just three defeats, Jones’ side are currently ninth in the table, just three points off the pace of the play-off spots and a comfortable 10 points adrift from the dreaded relegation zone.
They have done incredibly well to stay up in the Championship. All too often teams come up from League One and go straight back down again the following year. Just look at Charlton Athletic for example, they were promoted in the same season Luton won the third division title but were relegated just one season later.
Other sides of the standard also have a knack for bouncing between the leagues, like Hull City and Coventry, but with that comes a level of inconsistency, while it is also difficult to build a team when you’re constantly going up and down.
Luton have quickly made themselves a Championship side again and their fans will be more than happy with back-to-back mid-table finishes if Jones’ men remain where they are until the end of the season. But they will want up to start pushing higher up the league sooner rather than later and to do that they will need to be more consistent and find a regular goalscorer. For now, though, they are hitting all the right notes!