Luton Town manager Nathan Jones has left the League One club after taking the job at Championship side Stoke City.
Jones, 45, moves to Staffordshire to replace Gary Rowett, who was sacked earlier this week with a Potters side who were widely tipped in pre-season to challenge for promotion sitting 14th in the Championship.
The move ends Jones’ 3 year association with the Hatters. He was appointed manager in January 2016, and managed a 51% win rate over his time in charge of the Bedfordshire outfit. His last game in charge was a goalless draw in the FA Cup against Sheffield Wednesday.
Jones took over at Luton with the club 18th in League 2 after replacing John Still. After losing in the play-offs in 2016-17, he lead the club to automatic promotion in 2017-18 and leaves after a highly positive start to the current season, with Luton 2nd in League One ahead of a big match with 3rd place Sunderland on Saturday.
In a statement, the club said, “We wish Nathan every success in his future career and would like to thank him for his service and the passion he has shown for our Club. Further announcements on his replacement will be made in due course.”
Jones told the official Stoke City website, “This is a wonderful club and I feel very proud that the owners have identified the work that myself and my team have been doing.”
Jones also commented that it was a big call to leave Kenilworth Road for the Bet365 Stadium, but was sold after discussions with club chairman Peter Coates and his son John, who is the club’s vice-chairman.
He continued, “I have to say that this was the toughest decision of my life, it really was – I know that is a cliché at times when managers move clubs, but it really was for me.
“The environment was special there, I had excellent relationships with key people, my relationship with the supporters was outstanding and I also had a group of players who dedicated every part of their life to performing well for the club.
“As a manager you want to be in charge of a real structure, environment and culture that is conducive to winning games and I had that there, having worked tirelessly over the past three years to get it.
“To get me to leave that really needed something special and the people at Luton were fully aware of that. As soon as I spoke to Peter and John and heard their vision and listened to what they want to achieve, I knew this was a step that I wanted to take.
“This is a club with wonderful tradition, it has a Premier League structure in every regard, baring the league this year of course.”