Hatters boss denies any falling out with Wales international Morrell after midfielder leaves for Pompey

Former Robins player couldn't be guaranteed enough minutes for Luton this term

Friday, 13th August 2021, 6:30 am
Former Luton midfielder Joe Morrell

Town boss Nathan Jones has denied that he had a falling out with midfielder Joe Morrell as the Wales international left the club this week to move to League One side Portsmouth.

After heading to Kenilworth Road from Bristol City in October last year, the 24-year-old only played 11 times for the Hatters, starting just five Championship matches, as unable to oust Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu or Glen Rea from the side, he ended up playing more games for his country than his club side.

With Jones making eight signings this summer and Morrell left battling for a midfield spot against the likes of new additions Allan Campbell and Henri Lansbury, he exited the club to joined Pompey, managed by Danny Cowley, who took him from the Robins to Lincoln on loan back in July 2019.

There had been speculation on social media that Morrell, who didn't play for Luton again after being taken off at half time of clash against over Sheffield Wednesday in February, Town trailing 2-0 at the break, only to fight back and win 3-2, had fallen out with Jones, but that wasn't the case according to the boss, who said: “I hear quite a lot people saying, (but) there’s no fall out.

"Me and Joe have a really good relationship. The trouble was, Joe wasn’t playing and wasn’t going to get enough minutes in our team, to justify the fact that an international is at our (club).

“He wants to play minutes, we had offers for him.

"We agreed and honoured the deal with Portsmouth. If we’d wanted more money, we could have, but no problem whatsoever.

“Joe wanted to play football and I couldn’t guarantee that Joe would get enough football here, because of what we had. Last year was the same.

“Joe did quite well for us, but we had better midfield players at the time in the building and that’s why he didn’t play.

"This year, I couldn’t guarantee that he was going to play enough minutes for him to be satisfied.

“He has an international career, his own career to think about, so the only thing, the logical thing to do was to sell him and that’s what we did.

“(It’s an) amicable parting, no problem whatsoever. We thank Joe. He was an excellent trainer, a great lad to have around, no problem.”

With Morrell out, it takes Luton's squad down to 27, two more than they can name for their Championship campaign.

As he confirmed once more he wanted to add one more player, Jones will now look to let more go ahead of the window shutting early next month in order to bring one in.

He added: “One or two will go out as we've got too big a squad at the minute.

"We'd like to add a little bit more as well a bit more quality, maybe one more, but to do that, there's no point just bringing one in, as we've still got two numbers above the regulated 25.

"So there's a couple that need to go out, we’ll move those out as we've got a number of things in the pipeline for those.

"But we've picked up a couple of injuries and there's some still coming back from Covid that have just delayed anything else.”