Luton chief insists summer signing is still 'really happy' despite his lack of game time since joining from Wolves

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Giles hasn’t started a Premier League game for Luton since West Ham defeat

​​Luton boss Rob Edwards has insisted that Ryan Giles is still ‘really happy' at Kenilworth Road, and declared the summer signing remains determined to force his way into the side this season.

The 23-year-old opted to head to the Hatters from Wolverhampton Wanderers back in July, moving to Town for what is believed to be a club record fee of around £5m.

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Although he started the first three top flight matches of the campaign in a wingback role, he has seen his opportunities limited since, with just five substitute outings, his latest during the closing stages of Tuesday night’s crushing 4-3 defeat to Arsenal.

Ryan Giles had the final stages of Tuesday night's 4-3 defeat to Arsenal - pic: Liam SmithRyan Giles had the final stages of Tuesday night's 4-3 defeat to Arsenal - pic: Liam Smith
Ryan Giles had the final stages of Tuesday night's 4-3 defeat to Arsenal - pic: Liam Smith

It was during the weekend’s 3-1 defeat at Brentford that the question marks about his position with the Hatters began to surface, as following an injury to Tom Lockyer, Edwards chose to deploy forward Jacob Brown on the right hand side and move Issa Kabore to the left, rather than bring on Giles, stating afterwards he sees his role as that of a winger, due to concerns over his defensive abilities.

Having had conversations with the recent addition about where he believes he can best affect matches for Luton, the Town chief is confident Giles is in a good place mentally to still play a big part this term, saying: “He’s been doing great, he’s just got a lot of competition. Other people have stepped up and have done really well and that’s what I want.

"It’s not just because we’ve signed him, right the position’s yours. There’s competition in every group and we’ve got a really good relationship, really honest. He knows what I want from him and he’s really up for that challenge to force his way into the team, that’s really good and he’s really happy.

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"He’ll want to play more, like all the lads who haven’t played quite as much, but we’ve got a long season, we’ve got loads of games coming up. I thought he did well when he came on the other day, so there’ll be opportunities for him to show more.”

Reiterating his feeling that the ex-Middlesbrough loanee is better further forward, then Edwards, who has already managed Giles three times now, at Wolves and when in charge of AFC Telford, added: “Gileo’s always been a winger. I’ve known him from a young lad, he was always a left winger, that’s what he was.

“Then around the time when Nuno (Espírito Santo) came in, I was taking the 23s at Wolves and when he was in the first team squad, he was playing as a wingback in that role, so that was when he began to play slightly deeper. So it’s in him, but he’s always been a winger, that’s been his natural habitat, a wideman, he wants to take people on and get crosses in the box.

"The way Middlesbrough played last year, in possession he was always at that top end and that’s where he was. They were able to have a lot of control, he was playing in that position, so I think that’s where he’s at his best.”