Jones: Hatters squad is too big

Hatters boss Nathan Jones
Hatters boss Nathan Jones

New Hatters chief Nathan Jones believes the squad he has inherited at Kenilworth Road is too big for League Two.

Luton currently have 32 professionals on their books, while both Matt Robinson and Andy Parry remain at the club despite neither having squad numbers.

“To work with a 27-man squad is slightly too big, so we’re going to have to find a way to get the best out of everyone.”

Nathan Jones

When asked if he felt it was too large a pool to work with, Jones said: “The squad’s a big squad, for where we are, it’s a big squad.

“I prefer to work with a slightly smaller squad because it means I can affect a group of players quicker, so that’s the only thing really that we’ll be looking to do.

“But we have to evaluate it first, there’s no hurry, there’s no rush, there’s no ‘we have to do this, we have to do that.’

“If I want to keep that squad, I will, but in all honesty, to work with a 27-man squad is slightly too big, so we’re going to have to find a way to get the best out of everyone.”

With the January transfer window now in full swing, Jones could well look to offload some players this month to free up some space in the squad, although on making any further additions, he continued: “There’s two and a bit weeks left in the window, I’m not necessarily looking to add to the squad as I think we’ve got enough here, so it’s about getting the best out of those players and we’ll see where are.

“We’ve got good players here, I’m sure they’ll all be fighting and then it will be difficult to move people on as I’ll want them around here.

“So as long as players work hard, come in with an attitude and want to create something here, then I’ve got an open mind on all of them.”

Jones has already agreed to extend the loan deals of Mark Onyemah and Zane Banton at Dartford and Hemel Hempstead respectively, as on the deals, he said: “It’s a big squad here and you can’t evaluate everyone on a day to day basis.

“So a few of them we’ve looked to get out on loan, so that we can get them game time and that will benefit them.

“Then if I’m able to, evaluate that from the games I watch, whether it be live or on DVD, but I can actually see them playing in games and it will benefit me and benefit them.

“They’re young lads, they need that experience, they wanted to do it which was a real positive for me as it shows they want to play and not just sit around.

“That’s a real pro-activeness about them that I like, as where we are, we have to balance the whole squad.”

Since taking over last Wednesday, Jones has had a week to work with his new charges, although when asked if there were any he hadn’t known about who had impressed so far, added: “It would be unfair of me to mention anyone, but we’ve got a good squad here.

“I think it’s a talented squad, I’m happy with that. I knew that there would good players in the squad, there’s a lot of names in the squad as well.

“We’re looking for really good healthy competition, looking for everyone to step up and want to do well within our team framework and hopefully we can all move forward.

“Everyone starts with a clean sheet and I know it’s a cliche as everyone says it, but it’s true.

“I want hungry players, I want players that want to work hard, so whatever has gone on in the past has gone, and now we’re only looking forward.

“If players want to play and want to work hard, then that’s the type we want here.”