Hatters boss Nathan Jones would have no trouble in handing new signing Jake Gray his debut during Town’s League Two opener at Plymouth Argyle this weekend.
The 20-year-old only completed his permanent move to Kenilworth Road on Monday afternoon, but despite only figuring in three training sessions, Jones confirmed he is contention for the trip to Home Park.
“I’d have no problem in using Jake Gray on the weekend because he’s a good footballer, he’s energetic, young, wants to do well, has goals in him, hopefully lots.”Nathan Jones
Speaking to the press this afternoon, Hatters’ chief said: “He’s done good work at Palace and Palace are a Premier League club.
“So he’s played there and the intensity when he’s trained with their U21 group hasn’t quite been our intensity, but he’s at the level that he’s ready.
“I’d have no problem in using Jake Gray on the weekend because he’s a good footballer, he’s energetic, young, wants to do well, has goals in him, hopefully lots, so we’re very pleased with him.
“We believe in Jake Gray, we earmarked him and watched him. The fact that we got him permanently is a wonderful coup for Luton and we’re looking forward to working with him.
“He’s a player that did very well for Hartlepool last year, a dangerous player, we believe he’ll fit into what we have here so hopefully that can happen, we’re delighted to have him.”
Gray himself admitted that if called upon he was ready for action too, saying: “I’ve played a few games for Palace 21s, so I feel fit but it’s just up to the manager to see what he thinks best. But I’m ready if called upon.”
On his first few days at his new club, he continued: “The intensity is brilliant, it was a shock at me at first but everyone’s buzzing around and everyone seems ready.
“I’ve had three days training, settling in well, getting to know everyone a little bit better, everyone’s been really good to me, showing me around, so I’m loving it.
“It’s mainly the step up now as you’re not playing for three points every week (in the U21s), not playing in front of fans every week.
“There’s more hunger and desire here. I’ve trained with the first team at Palace before and it’s just a question of getting back up to speed, but I felt all right and it’s just getting used to it again.
Jones also confirmed that Gray had made a good impact on the squad in training, adding: “He’s done very well, because the recruitment we have, we want to bring in footballers who are hungry, who are fit, who are athletic, that can handle the football, and he fits that criteria.
“So apart from being slightly off the intensity levels we demand here, he’s fitted in very, very well and we know that because the due diligence we did and it’s a good group here, they’ve made him feel welcome and it will be a good move for Jake.”