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Club News


1 February 2018

Club News


1 February 2018

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Town boss Nathan Jones expects his transfer deadline day signings to be involved heavily in first team action as he hopes their arrival will add even more competition to his table topping side.

Defender Lloyd Jones, midfielder Flynn Downes and striker Jake Jervis all signed yesterday, with the gaffer confirming what role he expects them to play.

He said: "They've come in to add competition, they haven't come here to make up the numbers. I didn't need numbers, what I needed was to make sure we improved the squad, so all three have got a wonderful chance of playing.

"The team has been in wonderful form. We've got to the summit by playing good football and being a very good side, now we've added competition to that. We might need to freshen stuff up, a few might have just been jaded from the efforts they put in, because there's no bad players in our side.

"We've brought them in to freshen stuff up to have an impetus, a different impetus as all three are different to what we've got, which is really important as well.

"We look back on the month with a tinge of disappointment, but we've taken nine points from a possible 15, and when you're top of the league it's a good haul because you're there to be shot at.

"So to keep giving performances, it takes a lot when you're top of the league. There's a different atmosphere and different pressure. So I am reasonably pleased with our haul from the last month."

The Town have been without key players over the New Year period, but whilst some are beginning to work their way back into contention, Elliot Lee has been side-lined with a shoulder injury sustained in the defeat to Wycombe.

"He's just opened up his shoulder a little bit," Jones explained. "We thought he'd fractured it but he hasn't. So he's just opened it up which is unfortunate as he's just had one of his real, productive games. He's had games where we've had five, sixes and sevens, where he's been excellent. But this was a game where we really needed him and he stepped up to the fore.

"So it was a little bit disappointing to see him open it up and we'll gauge it and see how he is before Saturday.

"Danny Hylton's back in contention, which is pleasing. We haven't rushed him, we have missed him and it will be good to get him back.

"With the ones we've added and McCormack is so much closer now to playing, Scott Cuthbert's almost back in training, Gambin has been back in training. So when you look at it that's seven bodies, with the three we've added to the squad, so it's a healthy place."

Whilst there were three arrivals at Kenilworth Road yesterday, there were no departures, with Town's James Justin the subject of much interest, but no club was able to prise him away from the Hatters.

"It's just his value wasn't met, his entire value wasn't met," said Jones. "Without speaking out of turn or second guessing anything, James is on the rise.

"A lot of people want James for the right price and we would be wrong to stand in his way. But we asked James and his family and his representatives in the summer for a year. We said 'give us a year and we won't take you backwards and your opportunities to move won't diminish.'

"And they haven't because the standard of clubs he has attracted – without being disrespectful to anyone – that has actually increased.

"So we've upheld our bargain even though it's been a bit of a stop-start season for him as he hasn't played as many as he probably would have liked, and probably we anticipated if I am honest.

"But there's now 16 massive, massive games where we're going to need all those players and it's still within the time-frame of a year that we asked his representatives and his dad and himself for.

"So we will get James Justin to the level that we know he will, and he'll go with our blessing at the right time.

"We said we wouldn't lose anyone that we wanted to lose, and the club were true to their word. We had offers, without naming names or exposing anyone in any way, we had a number of offers for players at our football club and we've just been strong as we want to build.

"They're part and parcel of what we do now, and they're going to be part and parcel of what we do in the future. We've received bids for more than three of our players and if we invited bids, we probably would have got ten, 11 or 12.

"But the bids will be confidential for who they're for and so on, none of them met our value, but we weren't looking for them to meet our value. We realise some that we'll have to move because we would be stunting their development if they stayed here longer term than they would have to.

"But at this point in time, no-one's going backwards and no-one's value's diminishing and that's the main thing. The club has been strong once again, and what we said was 'can we keep moving forward every window?' And we have."

The new signings have also picked their squad numbers, with Jervis taking 15, Downes picking 20 and Jones opting for 28.

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