Hatters boss insists he has been fair with Town midfielder Morrell

Welsh international needs to show he is better than the club's other midfielders

Monday, 10th May 2021, 9:26 am
Town midfielder Joe Morrell on his last first team outing against Sheffield Wednesday in February
Town midfielder Joe Morrell on his last first team outing against Sheffield Wednesday in February

Luton boss Nathan Jones insisted he has been fair with midfielder Joe Morrell this season despite his lack of game time since arriving from Bristol City in October.

The 24-year-old had left Town’s Championship rivals to move to Kenilworth Road for an undisclosed fee as he impressed during his first few cameos, earning a first start in the 1-0 victory at Sheffield Wednesday.

However, Morrell went on to make just five league starts in total and a further five appearances from the bench, as despite being a regular in the match day squad during the later stages of the season, hasn’t played since being taken off at half time of the 3-2 win over the Owls on February 27.

He has featured twice for Wales since then though, taking his international minutes to 677 this term, more than the 548 minutes he has featured in for the Hatters.

When asked what he needs to do to force his way into Jones' plans going forward, the manager said: “He has to be better than the other midfield players at the club.

“We think Joe’s a very, very good player but if he’s going to play in front of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Pelly-Ruddock (Mpanzu) then he has to show that on a daily basis and that’s the same with anyone really.

“We want to keep moving forward and tough decisions have to be made in terms of on a weekly basis to the squad, but I don’t think we’ve been unfair to any player.

“I think it’s been a very productive season.

"To finish where we have, 62 points, never been anywhere near where our budget tells us we should be, so it’s difficult.

“I could have played Joe more, I could have played Goerge Moncur more, could have played Sam Nombe more, but we have to get results, so at the end of the day if we’re judged on results then we’re not in a bad place.

“Players have to force their way into your plans as I play players that I think at that time will win a game for me and for the club.

"We’ve been proved right on 17 occasions and we haven’t lost on a further 11, so over half the games we’ve been proved right and got a positive result.

“That’s why we’re in the position that we are and not going into a final day scrap.”