Morrell: There's no egos within a 'hungry' Hatters squad

Midfielder discusses his move to Kenilworth Road

Friday, 23rd October 2020, 7:00 am
Joe Morrell gets play moving against Millwall on Tuesday night

New Town signing Joe Morrell believes there is absolutely no chance of any egos disrupting the Luton squad after heading to Kenilworth Road from Bristol City last week.

The 23-year-old midfielder was snapped up by Hatters boss Nathan Jones for an undisclosed fee on Thursday, ending his lengthy stay at Ashton Gate.

Although Morrell, who has won nine full caps for Wales, has only just completed a week with his new team-mates, he is already convinced he made the right move, as speaking after the 2-0 defeat to Stoke City, he said: "One thing I have said is that at this level is you have a lot of squad with a lot of egos and it’s something that I’ve felt in the past.

“Not necessarily at Bristol City, but you’ve had players who have come down from the Premier League and earned big, big money and don’t necessarily have a lot to prove.

“With this squad here and with this manager, I don’t think you’d get away with that and that’s perfect for me, that suits me down to the ground really to have a squad where everyone is hungry to do well and has always got something to prove.

“I feel like I’ve got the best of both worlds really, playing in the Championship and with a squad that doesn’t necessarily have that ego and that maybe a bit of a lack of desire that you might find at other places.”

After coming through the ranks at Bristol City, spending seven years at Ashton Gate, then it wasn’t an easy decision to move away for Morrell, who had spent time on loan at Cheltenham Town and then League One Lincoln City last term.

However, just one Championship appearance in that time, back in 2018, and no realistic chance of adding to that this term forced his hand, as a second half appearance at Millwall on Tuesday night, means he has already played more second tier minutes in just three days with Luton than he managed during his seven years with the Robins.

Morrell continued: “I spoke to him (Nathan Jones) and he was just trying to sell me the club and to be honest, my response was that it didn’t really need much selling.

“I’ve played here before and I know all about the football club and the success it’s had over the past few seasons, so from my perspective it gave me a better opportunity to play football at this level and that’s all I want really.

“It would have taken a big opportunity for me to leave Bristol City after coming through there, but I definitely think I made the right decision and hopefully I can show what I can do.

“I feel like I’ve done it up to every level up until the Championship, League Two, League One, played international football now and I feel like the Championship is the next logical step for me.

“So to come to a club where I feel like that is probably more accessible than it is at a club that’s got a lot of midfielders and a lot more financial backing to go out and sign experienced players that have been in the Premier League.

“I sat down with the manager of Bristol City (Dean Holden) and was really honest with him and said, listen if I’m not going to be in your plans, then I want to go somewhere where I can at least have the opportunity to play and show what he can do and I feel like I’ve got that here.

“As a young player that’s all you can ask for, it’s always been my mantra that as long as I get the opportunity then it’s all down to me, which it is for everyone.

“The players that have come through here have been given that opportunity and taken those opportunities and that’s a big part of football, as it is in life really.

"So it’s something that you can do everything to get the opportunities, but it’s up to you to take those opportunities.”

Although Jones was doing his best to paint Luton in the best picture possible for Morrell during their chats about joining the club, the midfielder always wanted to make Kenilworth Road his new home and link up with a manager he clearly respected.

He said: “It did take a while, I’ve known of the interest for a while and I think it was just a case of sorting the formalities really.

"I sort of had it in my head, so I'm glad to be here.

"When I first spoke to the manager he was trying to sell me the club and I’m not someone who’s going to be sold off the back of a massive 50,000 seater stadium and a massive training ground with swimming pools and whatever.

"For me it’s just about having the opportunity to get better and that was the main selling point with the manager.

"He’s got a proven track record of doing that and that’s why I’m here.

“It didn’t really need much selling, but if I was in a position where I was unsure then I probably would have come away from the chats that we had with only positive things to say.

“I probably know more about football than your average footballer.

"There’s a lot of footballers that don’t necessarily take an interest in football, which is not what I’m like really, I love football and I take an interest in the game.

"If you watch some of the players in the Premier League who have come through at Luton, performed really well here and got good moves.

"I’ve always taken a keen interest in Luton when I knew the interest and I’ve ended up knowing a bit more about the club.

"I’ve only been here two days, but it's not just the gaffer, all the coaching staff and all the staff and the players have welcomed me really well, so I'm really excited to be here."

Having two of his Welsh team-mates Tom Lockyer and Rhys Norrington-Davies helped Morrell settle in straight away, as he added: “I’ve known Locky for a while, he played the other side of Bristol, the bad side of Bristol if you ask me.

"I’ve known Rhys a while as well, played with him at youth ages for Wales, so they've been great welcoming me.

"But at the same time, the rest of the lads have been fantastic as well as I’d like to think if I didn’t know Locky and Rhys, they’d treat me the same, so it has been good."