Still ends pursuit of striker Johnson

Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson

Hatters boss John Still has drawn a line under his pursuit of former England international Andrew Johnson.

The 33-year-old had been in talks with a move to Kenilworth Road after his release from Premier League side Crystal Palace last month.

But with Johnson unsure whether he wants to continue his playing career or move into coaching, Still eventually decided time was up.

He said: “Andrew is still not sure what he wants to do, so we’re moving on from that.

“I’m not saying that its dead and buried, but at the moment that’s not something we’re going to consider, based on him not being ready to commit himself to playing, not to playing here, but to playing.

“If a player like Andrew Johnson was to come on board, you’d always look at it and go, ‘can he give us something, can he do a little bit of work with forwards’.

“That’s possible, but it wouldn’t be the reason he came in. The reason he came in was to try and score some goals because that’s what we does.

“Anything else he does, we could say that’s a bonus. But it was never and would never be the case that was what was going to happen, he was coming in to be a player.”

Although Paul Benson is returning to full fitness and Hatters signed Ryan Hall plus Nathan Oduwa before the transfer deadline, Still admitted he might well use the loan window for another striker when it opens on Tuesday.

He continued: “We’ll just move on and if we were going to do anything in that goalscoring type role, we would look at other options.

“We have been looking at other options as well as Andrew. We’ve been trying to get Ryan (Hall) for a while, and trying to get Nathan (Oduwa) or a similar to that, but we weren’t able to get it until now.

“We could have gone and got something else, but we’ve known what we’ve wanted, we’ve waited for what we wanted and we’ve got what we wanted.

“If the situation arose for the right type of other player, what might be classed as a fox in the box, we might go for it.”

Charlie Walker and Ricky Miller remain in the wings and the boss felt that was always going to be the case this year, preferring to give them time to develop into professional football.

He added: “We haven’t discarded Charlie Walker and Ricky Miller, but when we brought those two in, our views on those two were they weren’t for this season particularly.

“They were longer term as they’ve come from a long way down.

“There was no pressure heaped on either of them, they’ve both done really well and have been in and around the squad all season.

“They never came in with an expectation and I don’t want them to have an expectation, I want them to grow naturally.

“If thats this year great, but if it’s next year then that’s where we looked for. It was never the case that we expected them to come in and go smash.

“Come in and get used to what it takes to become a professional footballer, and we’ve been pleased with both of them, we really have.

“We’ve been pleased with Lee Angol whose been out on a year’s loan too.

“When you start a system of trying to unearth those young players, it’s never about now.

“It might be someone’s turn to emerge next year, but the system has to get going.

“They have to grow somewhere and be it with us or somewhere else, as far as I’m concerned, they’re growing without expectation.”