ROB EDWARDS has been named Luton manager – despite bossing big Championship rivals Watford for 11 games earlier this season.
Edwards, 39, hailed his “exciting opportunity” after landing a “minimum three-and-a-half-year contract” to succeed Southampton’s new chief Nathan Jones at Kenilworth Road.
The former Wolves Under-23 boss took Forest Green Rovers to the League Two title last term.
But after taking over at Vicarage Road in May, Watford sacked him on September 26 after only three wins.
The Hornets were tenth when Edwards departed but just a point off the play-offs – exactly the position Luton are now in.
Slaven Bilic replaced him at Watford to steer them up to fourth so far.
And ex-Wales defender Edwards reckons he can guide the Hatters to a similar promotion push.
He told Luton’s website: “I’m absolutely delighted to be here. It’s a really exciting opportunity to manage this great football club.
“You see such a well-run football club, a club that’s growing, moving forward and competing at the right end of the Championship.
“It’s a club that did fantastically well last season and is doing so well now. You see there is a terrific group of players there and a club that’s only looking in one direction.”
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The former England U-16 manager claims Luton “puts its people and supporters first” and he can “feel a lot of positivity around the place”.
predecessor Jones left for Premier League strugglers Southampton last week, taking coaches Chris Cohen and Alan Sheeran with him.
And Edwards added: “They’ve left the football club in a brilliant place and it’s down to us now to try and keep building on that brilliant work.”
Referring to Edwards’ short stint at Watford, Luton CEO Gary Sweet admitted he understood “concerns some supporters may have with his previous club”.
But he added: “The one action Watford did that impressed us in recent times was their appointment of Rob!
“Let’s be honest, jokingly, if we avoided everyone with a connection to our adversaries our choice would be somewhat more limited and we can’t ignore the joint movement of some players over the years, and indeed this season.
“We’re confident that with such a limited association with them, Rob will very quickly feel much more a member of our tight club here at Kenilworth Road.”