Edwards vows Luton will come out of the January transfer window in a 'stronger' position

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Town chief could look to do some business in January

Luton boss Rob Edwards has vowed that the Hatters will come out of the January transfer window in a stronger position as he looks to navigate the path to Premier League survival this term.

Town registered a 25-man squad back in September, but they now have just under a month in which they can alter who is tasked with trying to ensure a second successive season in the top flight before the deadline passes on Thursday, February 1 at 11pm.

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With the long term future of defender Tom Lockyer remaining uncertain, the Welsh international seeing specialists in the new year after his cardiac arrest against AFC Bournemouth recently, replacing the club captain might be something Edwards has to look into. Meanwhile, midfielder Marvelous Nakamba also faces a significant period out due to his knee injury, which might also force the Town chief’s hand, although he expects to have the backing of the club’s board if he decides to act.

Luton boss Rob Edwards - pic: Liam SmithLuton boss Rob Edwards - pic: Liam Smith
Luton boss Rob Edwards - pic: Liam Smith

Asked about any potential business, the Hatters boss said: “We’ve lost, we don't know for how long, Locks and Marv, who are two really key players for us. We've had people that have come in and been brilliant the last few games, that’s why you have a squad. So we’ll have to seriously look and see if there is an area that we feel now that we’re going to have to strengthen.

"We've got a couple of people who are on their way back from shorter term injuries, so it should only be those two who are missing longer term. Then we've got a good number of players available to us, so we'll make the right call. I suppose the line that I’ll go down in January is we want to make sure we’re in a stronger position come the end of the window. We won’t be letting any people go if we don’t think it’s right for the football club, and if we do look to bring people in, it’s only to strengthen us.

"We always keep our cards close to our chest and try to keep everything in house as much as possible, but I think it’s important the line that goes out is we’ll be in a stronger position come the end of the window. That’s what I said last year and that proved to be the case. If we can bring in someone that allows us to be a little bit stronger and improves us, then I think we’ve got the support and backing to do that.

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“Clearly we aren’t going to be spending 50 million on people, there will be a plan to it, but if it can help us then Gary (Sweet, CEO) and the board, I think will support us.”

One thing that Edwards was eager to place on record was that the Hatters won’t have a squad with any less quality available to him when the window does shut, adding: “We won’t come out of January weaker, I think that’s important to say. I’ve said to the lads we’re a really tight group that have an amazing spirit, it’s important that we keep that.

"I know there are some people who have been a little bit disappointed and frustrated, and January can bring a little bit of unease around. Players want to play, but I’ve said, no-one leaves unless I say so, unless I think it’s going to be good for the group as I need us all. You can see the impact that the subs have had, the other day (at Sheffield United), Carlton (Morris) came on and got a couple of assists, Chongy (Tahith Chong) came on today (against Chelsea) and was amazing.

"There will be some that will be more frustrated than others. January can be an unsettling time for people, with some that feel they want to be playing more, but I’ve got to be strong in this position as we need the group.

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"We’re not going to weaken ourselves, we want to retain our Premier League status. I don't like it as a manager, I want the group to be together and all fighting for the same thing. That’s going to mean keeping this group together because there’s a unique bond and a spirit here and we’re stronger with everyone in it and together.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​