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NATHAN JONES ON OFFERING NEW CONTRACTS TO PLAYERS

22 March 2018

Town boss Nathan Jones revealed in his press conference at The Brache this afternoon that he doesn't envisage starting any contract negotiations between now and the end of the season.

Although offers are on the table to certain players, the gaffer doesn't want to get deep into talks with players and distract them from the final eight games of the Sky Bet League Two campaign.

He said: "If you start contract negotiations now it takes the focus away from a lot of people.

"There's a lot of young ones that we wanted to tie down because of certain things and we've offered those a while back, but we haven't entered into negotiations.

"We've made our feelings known that we're going to do that. There's an initial offer and so on, but if we go into protracted negotiations now it can take away our focus.

"So we'll put those to bed now. Yes, it will help if we go up a league, but it won't hinder a massive thing about what we do when we move forward."

Town defender Jack James was the latest academy player to be called up for international duty, after he was selected for the Republic of Ireland Under-18s squad. He joins Tiernan Parker and James Justin on the list of this season's players from the academy past and present to be called up this campaign.

"We're proud of our young ones and we have been since I came here," Jones continued.

"James Justin has, Glen Rea was when we initially had him, Gambin has gone away, Flynn Downes has gone away. He has continued his development, that is the longest run of league games he has had in his career.

"We promote young players here – we think we do, we give them a good platform, we educate them, we work with them. Anyone who comes into our environment usually improves."

With the visit of Barnet this weekend – who have a new manager at the helm – the Welshman is expecting the visitors to be fired up. But Jones doesn't anticipate it will affect his players who he believes should be at the top of their games with their targets firmly set on finishing in the top three in the fourth tier.

Jones said: "They'll come here and be fired up. But we should be fired up. We're going for promotion, there's no greater motivation than going up a league and changing your life.

"We can't second guess what they're going to do. All we can concentrate on is what we do. We've prepared our team, then if we're right at it then it usually takes one heck of a team to beat us, so that's what we have to focus on.

"If we're at it, then I can't say anything else. If we're right at it and we do our jobs, then that's all I can affect."


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