Are Luton Town suffering from a hangover following last season’s success?

One of last season’s surprise outfits, achieving a place in the Championship play-offs despite having one of the smallest transfer budgets in the second tier, Luton Town fans have been brought back down to earth following Nathan Jones’ side’s poor start to the 2022-23 campaign.

Four games in to the new season and the Hatters’ form makes for dire reading. Luton sit second bottom of the table winless with just two points from two draws in their opening four matches. And to make matters worse, the Bedfordshire side are struggling to find the back of the net — with just one goal in 360 minutes of football.

A repeat of that play-off run was less than expected from Luton this season, but not many would have tipped them to be relegation contenders after such a solid showing. Indeed, it’s still the very early stages of the season, yet the Hatters’ chances of suffering the drop to League One are shortening in the English Championship betting odds — with odds now as short as 7/1.

It is not unusual to see sides in the second tier suffer such a hangover after overachieving. Barnsley were the surprise outfit in the 2020-21 campaign, finishing fifth as they made the play-offs against all the odds. However, the gruelling schedule of such a hectic campaign clearly took its toll on the South Yorkshire side as they finished bottom of the table last year and waved goodbye to Championship status.

It would be such a shame to see Luton suffering a similar fate this season. There is something refreshing about seeing some of the so-called lesser squads upsetting the big sides and getting their foot in the door of the play-offs. But the Hatters now face an uphill task to even get their season back on track and Jones is really going to have to dig deep to pick this side up and getting them back firing on all cylinders.

The shock departure of Kai Naismith, who joined Bristol City in a move that blindsided everyone involved at Luton, has visibly weakened the Hatters’ defence and that hasn’t been helped by the fact that the side’s talisman Elijah Adebayo and his fellow forwards haven’t been able to find the back of the net at the other end of the pitch.

There is no need to push the panic button at Kenilworth Road just yet, as we are only four games in to the season, but Jones clearly has his work cut out and will need to make changes with some big games coming up against the likes of Swansea City, Sheffield United and Cardiff City before the end of the month.

If not, the Welshman could start feeling the pressure. He has won over the Luton fans again after walking out for the Stoke City job, but the longer this winless streak goes on, the more the supporters are going to start growing frustrated and Jones could find himself in the firing line as a result.

For some sides having the transfer window still open would be a major help in this situation, but for Jones it is not quite as easy a fix. Luton don’t have a big budget to really bring in any more recruits to strengthen their squad in crucial areas, which is a concern as they could do with some more new faces — especially in defence.

How do Luton shake off this hangover? Well, that remains to be seen as there is no end in sight following their recent displays. They need to regroup and fight their way out of this trance showing the togetherness that they have displayed in recent seasons.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button