New Hatters chief won’t ‘rip things up’ at Luton as he believes Town are capable of ‘something special’
New Luton boss Rob Edwards insists he won’t rip everything up at Kenilworth Road after being appointed as Nathan Jones’ successor last week, believing ‘something special’ can be achieved with what is already in place.
The 39-year-old was named in charge of the Hatters on Thursday, taking over a side that are sitting 10th in the Championship and just one point away from the top six.
Town had bolstered a squad that did reach the play-offs last term during the summer, breaking their transfer record to bring in Carlton Morris, leaving them in an excellent position for Edwards to come in and try to go one step further than previous manager Jones.
He said: “I’m here to be able to work with the players and obviously I have strong beliefs in how I want the game to be played, but what I’ve also got to do is recognise the great work that’s already going on.
“The lads are getting results, the club’s getting good results playing a certain way, so it would be stupid for me to then rip things up and try to do something totally different.
“What we’ve got to do is be really clever, continue the great work, the stuff that has been successful over a period of time now, and then look to build and evolve as we go.
“But our job is to try and get the best out of players and they’re already doing that now.
“So we’ve got to draw on that and eke some more out as well as I really believe in this group, I think they’re capable of something special.”
Edwards has achieved against the odds as both a player and manager too, part of the Blackpool side that reached the top flight in 2010, while then leading an unfancied Forest Green side to the League Two title last term.
He continued: “Anything is possible and I’ve been part of a Blackpool team a long time ago that were probably favourites to go down and we achieved something really special under Ian Holloway, with a really group of people and players.
“I can see a really good group of people and players here, fantastic staff, supporters who are right with the team and right behind them.
“You can achieve when you have all that, you can achieve, whether that’s now, we don’t know, but the aim is to certainly try and progress to that higher level at some stage over these next few years.
“We’ll be doing everything to try and do that right now because we’re in a really good position, but also, more than half the league will be saying that as well, the league’s ridiculously right this year.”
Although targeting a place in the Premier League, Edwards isn’t under any pressure to deliver such a goal in his first season at Kenilworth Road, with Town chief executive Gary Sweet confirming no targets had been set for the new man.
He added: “There’s nothing specific that you would think that would be points related or position related, but we all know the opportunity, it doesn’t need pointing out and not one of us at this football club is not going to take that opportunity if it arises.
“But we’ve really been talking about the growth and the value and the objectives of how we manage that transition as real tasks in hand, not particularly points on the board or position in the table.
“This is a moment where we’ve got to, as a football club, take a little bit of perspective, stand back and do a re-check on where we are.
“Not that I think budget makes a lot of difference, but we are one of the lowest spending football clubs on player salaries in this league, that can’t change as we run sustainably, as it should be and that will correct over time by the way.
“We’re doing things the right way in that aspect, so if we’re punching even a little bit above our weight, we’re in a much better position.
“Even we at the club are thankful for what we’ve got and where we are, that doesn’t stop us being ambitious and taking that opportunity if it arises and maybe even going for that if we feel bold enough.”