Hatters star Jake Howells felt he was shown a lack of ‘respect’ after finding out he wasn’t being offered a new contract at Kenilworth Road yesterday morning.
The 25-year-old, who had been with the club since the age of 15, making 334 appearances for the first team, confirmed he didn’t have an inkling of his departure until meeting with boss Nathan Jones.
“I was just a bit gutted in the way that they’ve left it until now, to leave me hanging, not knowing and I think they could have told me a lot earlier and given me that respect.”Jake Howells
Although respecting of the manager’s decision, Howells felt that after his long service to the club, he deserved to know the news earlier.
Speaking exclusively to the News/Gazette, he said: “It’s never nice, I’ve never been in this position where I’ve been out of a job as it is.
“I went and spoke to the manager in the morning and he told me that they weren’t going to renew my contract and sadly that’s the way it is.
“That’s the thing that hurt me the most, that I had no idea and in a way, sort of led on.
“For the last day of the season for me to find out was pretty heart-breaking considering what I’ve been through with the club, and after all the appearances to find out this way is a bit of a shame for me.
“I was just a bit gutted in the way that they’ve left it until now, to leave me hanging, not knowing and I think they could have told me a lot earlier and given me that respect.”
Howells wouldn’t go into detail on what was said by Jones regarding the decision, as when asked he continued: “It’s just down to the club to be honest.
“I can’t talk about that personally, but the club have felt they can’t renew my contract at this moment in time and it’s not to be, so I will be moving on.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be at Luton. Luton have made me the person, the player and I am, and I feel I deserved to give a lot back to the club which I feel I’ve still got a lot to give.”
Howells was surprised to learn of the decision too after being recalled to the side for Saturday’s 4-1 win over Exeter, excelling in a midfield role.
He said: “In my head, I can’t really see what else I could have done on the pitch to earn a contract, but that’s down to the club, that’s their decision.
“When I did play under Nathan Jones, I felt I always gave 100 per cent and even coming back from fitness from having an operation three weeks early to prove myself to earn something.
“I played Saturday and thought I did okay, but obviously not to be.
“It is a bit of a kick when you feel like you’ve got yourself back fit and started and people have said it was the best home performance of the season.
“It’s nice to be included in that playing in a different position and still give a solid performance.
“I thought everything was a positive for me.”
Howells is one of nine who will be leaving the club this summer and knew Town had to act on their over-inflated playing personnel.
He added: “I think Luton do need to reduce the size of the squad, it got a bit ridiculous the last couple of years with a 30-man squad.
“He’s (Jones) got a bit of a mess to clear out and he’s obviously going to do that.
“I respect him massively and hopefully the boys have a successful year next year and get a promotion.”