New Hatters signing Ince is 'more than happy' to link up with Luton boss Nathan Jones once more

Stoke attacker eager to play under Town chief

By Mike Simmonds
Thursday, 4th February 2021, 6:55 am
Updated Thursday, 4th February 2021, 8:24 am
New Town signing Tom Ince
New Town signing Tom Ince

Luton loan signing Tom Ince was eager to link up again with Town manager Nathan Jones once more after moving to Kenilworth Road for the rest of the season on Monday.

The 29-year-old had been with Jones during the Luton chief’s tough time in charge of Stoke last season.

Although he was sacked after just eight months at the helm, with the Potters struggling against relegation, Jones left a good impression on a player who has plied his trade in the Premier League before.

Ince said: "I think the gaffer did brilliantly, he was so enthusiastic, so positive and he’s got a modern way of thinking about playing football.

“It’s like in every walk of life, you take jobs that you feel are the next step and sometimes it’s either not the right time or it doesn’t work out.

“It’s like any manager, any footballer who makes a move, I’ve had that throughout my career where I’ve made moves that I felt were the next step and it hasn’t gone to plan.

“You just have readjust and learn from the things that you did wrong and learn from your mistakes.

“You can see the way the manager’s come back here, a club that he knows ever so well, to get the club back going again and performing ever so well.

“I’m grateful for him to give me the call to first of all chance his arm on deadline to see that if I was available and able to come and then once I had a chat with him on the phone, heard the project, the mindset and how he wants to go about the rest of the season, I was more than happy to come down and join him.

"I played a lot of games under the gaffer, the gaffer adopted a diamond formation which has been popular here throughout the years, he adopted that at Stoke and it didn’t quite work out for anyone really, and that’s football.

"The manager knew and if you speak him, he’ll say there’s lots of things he’s learned from his time at Stoke and there’s a lot of things I've learned from both playing and not playing,

“I think you realise when you’re not playing, it’s about having that mindset and mentality, about having a strong character and keep working hard on the pitch, keep doing what you need to do to keep yourself fit and try and be available for if that call comes.

“These next three or four months is a chance for me to get back and try to put my name back on the map at a club that’s going to allow me to express myself, play with freedom.

"You see that in the team when they play, so I’m looking forward to it and I can’t wait to get going."

It only took one chat with Jones for Ince to make his mind up about heading to Luton, as he continued: “As soon as I knew there was an enquiry, Nathan wanted to have a chat with me just to see what my thoughts were and how he wanted to go about moving forward.

“Obviously we knew each other before, I know how the manager works and he knew what I could bring to the table.

“At Stoke it didn’t work out for me and it didn’t work out for the manager but that is no detriment to me or him, or our relationship as people.

“That has always remained positive and always remained well.

“For me to think like the manager and him to give off his ideas and how he wants to move forward and how he wants to play, it was a no-brainer for me.

“I was more than happy to get down here, it was just a case of trying to get the deal done as quickly as possible and get everything sorted.”

Although he had only spent one day with Jones after arriving on Tuesday morning when speaking to the press in the afternoon, the manager’s vigour for the Hatters is already rubbing off on Ince.

He added: “He’s always been his enthusiastic, positive self and he knows this club and this town so well, like the back of his hand.

“He always has that quiet confidence in himself and if the players believe in what he brings to the table and they get success.

“I think this club is a prime example of that, with what he has been able to do throughout the leagues.

“Even so this season, considering how it ended last season obviously fighting to stay up.

“This year, they’re on the brink of pushing for a late play-off place or be in the top half of the table which I think is a magnificent feat in itself.

“So it's great to come here and be part of that, to be with the manager once again, feed off his ideas and try and put his ideas into place on the weekend.”