Jones had been disappointed to lose Shrews winger Gilliead

Winger Alex Gilliead during his time with Luton
Winger Alex Gilliead during his time with Luton

Hatters boss Nathan Jones admitted he had been ‘disappointed’ to lose winger Alex Gilliead when he ended his loan spell at Kenilworth Road in January of last year.

The 22-year-old makes his first return to the club at the weekend for Shrewsbury having spent four months with Luton in the 2016-17 campaign after joining from Premier League Newcastle United, playing 21 times and scoring twice, although eight appearances were from the bench.

He returned to St James' Park and then headed to Bradford, playing 10 games, heading back to the Bantams last season, where he featured 48 times, netting just two goals.

After being released by the Magpies in the summer, Gilliead moved to Shrews on a two year deal, and on his time with Town, Jones said: “We were disappointed to lose Alex really, as he started very well here, but people are obsessed with higher level, higher level all the time, regardless of progression, development and so on.

“Alex, if I’m being brutally honest was one of those, very ambitious, wants to play at the highest level possible, but we felt that we would have really kicked him on and developed him here.

“He wanted to play in Newcastle’s first team and we felt we could have got him closer, but maybe a little bit of impatience on his part,

“We were really enjoying him here, he was a fantastic kid, still keeps in touch with a lot of them now, was a real good part of the squad and did really well for us.

“At times he had to be patient and playing a different position to what he normally does but that’s why we made him a better player.

“We were a little bit disappointed, but it will be good to see him and hopefully he’ll be going back up the road a little bit more disappointed.”

On the test of facing Shrewsbury, who have struggled so far this term, Jones added: “It’s nice to be back home, hopefully we can take advantage, but another tough game as they were play-off finalists last year.

“They come thick and fast the games. Hopefully we can have the right result before we go into another busy period, because it’s relentless the start and the early month of August.”