Jones hints at strengthening in January window

Hatters boss Nathan Jones has hinted he may look to strengthen his squad for a concerted promotion push in the January transfer window.

Friday, 25th November 2016, 9:57 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 3:41 pm
Luton boss Nathan Jones

Luton head to Exeter this weekend, sitting fifth in League Two, eight points behind leaders Plymouth Argyle and just three adrift of the play-offs.

Town will face Carlisle, Blackpool, Barnet and Colchester in the league, plus cup matches with Solihull Moors and Swindon Town, before teams are allowed to buy players again.

Although content with his side’s current position, Jones will improve in certain areas if he feels it necessary to make sure his side end the campaign inside the top three.

He said: “We’re in a decent place at the minute, with the squad we’ve got and how we are, and with the January window coming up, we’ll get stronger as a team, so we’re in a good place.

“We’ve got a squad that’s involved and together, but it’s a long season and we’re right in the mix.

“The Christmas period will dictate quite a lot as there’s three or four games and that can change stuff.

“If you’re in a good, healthy position going into January then anything can happen, and we will be strong, I promise you.

“We will be strong in the second half of the season because of how we prepare, how we train, the squad we have.

“We can cope with injuries and if need be, the club will strengthen, if need be, so we’re in good position.

“It’s a big period of seven to eight games, culminating in the New Year game (at Portsmouth), so we want to finish this month strong.

“That leads us into the FA Cup, into the Checkatrade Trophy again and then with a big game at Carlisle, it’s a big couple of weeks coming up.”

Hatters’ youthful midfield came in for some criticism during the defeat to Portsmouth on Tuesday night, with the visitors fielding the hugely experienced trio of Carl Barker, Gary Roberts and Michael Doyle.

However, Jones defended his selection policy, saying: “I felt the other day we had a freshness about us, they had two very experienced midfield players, but we’ve got a lot of freshness, a lot of brightness in there.

“We’ve got a lot of talent, so we’ve sacrificed a little bit of experience for talent and it hasn’t been too bad a decision so far.

“They’re gaining more experience week by week and we’re going to get better as a team.”

Holding midfielder Olly Lee also found it hard to get a foothold on proceedings with Pompey’s press effective all evening, and it’s an area Jones knows needs improving.

He said: “A lot of teams do that now because if he gets on the ball he can dictate play.

“So we’re working on other ways of finding that, it’s a challenge for Olly, it’s a challenge for different players.

“We have to find ways, because we watch games and try to nullify threats of other people and I know people do that to us.”

The visitors’ height, particularly in the centre half positions was noticeable too, but Jones didn’t think it would be a cause of real concern as the season progresses.

“He added: “I hope not, because we look for a different kind of of player, a real mobile, athletic, technically good player that wants to press, wants to work hard.

“Yes, we need a certain level of height, that’s something that some may exploit, but not many have at the minute.”