Okuonghae wanted loan move to prepare for Luton chance

Hatters boss John Still revealed that centre half Magnus Okuonghae felt it was better to get fully match-fit on loan before being thrust into Luton’s first team.
Magnus OkuonghaeMagnus Okuonghae
Magnus Okuonghae

The imposing defender joined fellow League Two side Hartlepool for a month last week as Still said: “Magnus wouldn’t be ready to play for us.

“He’s fit now and Hartlepool had spoken to us before the Steve (McNulty) thing came up and having spoken to him, Magnus felt that he was fit in terms of injury free.

“But he played against Gillingham and said he really felt uncomfortable during the game with the pace of the game.

“I think he felt he didn’t want to push himself in a position where because he’s injury-free that he had to play without being 100 per cent ready.

“He felt and we felt that the loan thing would be a big benefit to him to get him back here when he’s feeling comfortable playing.

“We explained that to Hartlepool but they literally didn’t have anything, so they would take that chance.

“Magnus was a bit reluctant to take that chance for us, he felt he needed to play.

“Having seen him at Gillingham and in training, we felt he was ready to go and play regularly now and come back in a month’s time all guns blazing.

“We couldn’t have done it if we didn’t have Mark O’Brien but we have, while Dan Potts can also play there.”

Okuonghae made his Pools debut in the 1-0 win at former club Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday and had 90 minutes during the 1-1 draw with Barnet on Tuesday night, as boss Ronnie Moore told the Hartlepool Mail: “I don’t want Bobby Moore playing centre-half, I want a defender who will go and head it and kick it.

“Mags is a proper centre-half who gives us strength and determination.

“You have to be strong and physical and there’s no doubt he has those qualities.

“He’s a talker and has experience. He needs games, no doubt, but Mags showed he is fit and ready and the whole idea at the moment is Luton want him out for a month to get fit and to get games.”

>> Mark Onyemah played for Dartford in their 2-2 draw with Hemel Hempstead in National League South on Saturday.

Isaac Galliford set up St Neots’ goal as they beat Dorchester 1-0, while Luke Trotman had 90 minutes in Histon’s 5-4 defeat to Kettering.