Hatters boss admits Town were 'blown out of the water' by Bristol City's offer during attempts to keep Naismith

Town had little chance in keeping hold of defender

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 29th June 2022, 10:14 am
Former Luton defender Kal Naismith joined Bristol City recently
Former Luton defender Kal Naismith joined Bristol City recently

Luton boss Nathan Jones admitted the club were ‘blown out of the water’ by Championship rivals Bristol City in their attempts to keep defender Kal Naismith at Kenilworth Road.

The 30-year-old had enjoyed a stellar season with the Hatters last term, so much so that he was named Players’ Player of the Season, and Player of the Season, as Luton finished sixth in the Championship.

Out of contract, he then opted to move to Ashton Gate, penning a three year deal, accepting an offer that Town were never able to match.

When asked how much of a disappointment it was to lose such an important player behind Luton’s success last term, Jones said: “Absolutely, it is, as we put a lot of work into Kal.

"Kal came here as right winger, left back, centre half, he was cover for a number of positions, really versatile.

"We lost Rhys Norrington-Davies, so we needed a left-sider to fill that, Kal wasn’t Rhys, he was different.

"Then we worked with Kal, we found a position for Kal and in a year’s work he’s gone to be at the time the best ball-playing centre half in the league.

"Now without us, Kal wouldn’t have attained that and without Kal, then we wouldn’t have been such a strong position.

"It's really sad, but that’s life, we did try everything we could.

"A few things happened through the season and so on, and then once he went to the open market, it’s very difficult for us to compete with other Championship clubs who are envious of our pay structure, but can blow it apart.

“But that’s the way we’re run and we’re very proud of the way we run our club and what we do.

“And let’s not forget that the season before we lost Matty Pearson, replaced him with Reece Burke and I don’t think there’s many saying we got short changed there.

"We very rarely get caught on the hop.

"We knew we were exposed with Kal Naismith, we tried everything we could to keep him and we weren’t able to and no problem with that.

"When someone blows you out of the water with finances, there is nothing you can do to compete with that.”

"I understand people get frustrated, but all people have got to do is trust the process, if they trust the process, trust what we do, then usually we produce.”

Jones also confirmed that Town had been speaking to Naismith over a new deal during the season, but that it didn’t prove successful.

However, he was quick to accept the confines of the pay-scale of which he has to work in when trying to do keep players at the club, or bring new ones in, adding: “Without going into too much detail, discussions were ongoing, we weren’t able to reach certain levels.

"That’s sometimes the pitfalls of our wage structure, but it keeps us moving forward constantly.

"The pros of our wage structure and how we’re run and what we do, far outweigh any cons.

"The cons, yes we know were going to miss out on the odd player, we know we’re going to lose the odd player but in general, our recruitment is wonderful here.

"I understand people get frustrated, people get frustrated when we let Peter Kioso, people get frustrated when we let Jake Howells go, but if you look back, historically, our recruitment here is wonderful.

"All people have got to do is trust the process, if they trust the process, trust what we do, then usually we produce.”