Luton boss not 'disgruntled' but would have liked more signings during transfer window

Hatters boss Graeme Jones
Hatters boss Graeme Jones

Town chief on the arrival of three players to his squad in January

Hatters manager Graeme Jones admitted he would have liked to bring in some more players to Kenilworth Road during the January transfer window.

The Luton boss managed to make three signings in total, Spurs defender Cameron Carter-Vickers on loan until the end of the season, Leeds United midfielder Eunan O’Kane on an 18-month agreement and Hartlepool defender Peter Kioso for an undisclosed fee.

Although not disappointed by the incomings, Jones wished it could have been even more, saying: “The first thing is, I would have liked them in earlier, because I knew we needed help with the injuries.

“Now that wasn’t the case, it wasn’t for the want of trying, it’s just the situation we were in.

“But forget Eunan, because he’s long term, we’ve got to get him right and Donervon (Daniels) was our player anyway, we chose to bring him back, I think the two signings really represented where we are as a football club.

“One was Peter for the future and one was Cam, now, that we needed.

“So I would have liked to had more, but we had 23 pros train today, we’ve got a lot of numbers, and we’ve got a budget that we’re not prepared to move from.

“We really needed to do a little bit of wheeling and dealing, but overall, as far as the two players that I consider we got for now, I think it was a clear representation of where we are as a club now.

“We needed some help, we need to never forget that we’re also a club that signs young, hungry players and we’ve done that with Kioso.”

Only Carter-Vickers is expected to feature for the Hatters in the short term, as Kioso has never played in the Football League, while O’Kane still making his way back from the injury he suffered when with Luton for his first loan spell.

When asked if he had hoped to bring in some more who could affect the first team immediately, Jones continued: “Absolutely, I would have, but we’re not in that position, we’ve not been in that position all season, it’s where we are.

“I’m not disgruntled with the window, at all, I’m quite grateful actually with what we’ve got and you know me, I’m just the type who's, ‘come on, that's what we’ve got, let's make the best of it,’ and we will as a club.”

Jones also confirmed, that as he had stated prior to Friday’s deadline, he didn’t make any late bids on the final day of the window, saying: “No, because I know where are budget-wise and we were quite happy with the two.

“If money wasn't an object, you'd go down a different route.

“It is a factor, it plays a vital part and we haven't got the choice to go out and sign anybody we want, we had to wheel and deal.

“I was pleased with the wheeling and dealing that we did as the two boys we got in, one for now and one for the future.

“You never know with Peter, he might step up a bit earlier because I've really liked the look of him in training.”

Club captain Alan Sheehan agreed his release from the club on deadline day, meaning that Luton have just one natural left back fit in Dan Potts, while upfront, although Danny Hylton is getting closer to fitness, there is little available back-up should anything happen to top scorer James Collins.

On whether that was a concern to him, Jones said: “We lost Brendan Galloway (knee injury at Brentford) so we had already done our business and contractually on Brendan, so we’re unfortunate.

“James Bree can play that position, even though he's a better right back.

“Striker-wise we've got Danny Hylton fit again, so we have to use the players we've got and lets see where that takes us.”

Meanwhile, Lloyd Jones was the only other player to exit Kenilworth Road in the end, loaned to League Two Northampton Town, although Jones had hoped to move a few more on, adding: "Yes, you want to do that, that wasn't the situation.

“We've got a big enough squad now, and we will do the best we can.”