New Town midfielder Jonathan Smith is concentrating on the here and now after joining Hatters on loan from York City this week, writes Mike Simmonds.
The 26-year-old, who will remain with Town until January, gave a highly impressive display on his debut against Hereford United on Tuesday night, despite only meeting his new team-mates on the same day.
While the likes of Arnaud Mendy and Simon Ainge have moved to Town with their deals expected be made permanent once the transfer window re-opens, Smith remains unsure of where his long-term future lays.
He said: “I’ve just got to come in and give it my best. I haven’t looked too far ahead.
“My aim is to do well for Luton. That’s what I’ve come in to do.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for the manager and as long as Paul (Buckle) keeps playing me, I’m happy to stay here.”
Smith could have joined Luton in the summer, but opted to return to York City after helping Swindon Town win promotion to League One.
A recent spell out of the Minstermen team left him itching for regular football though, as he was never going to be happy just sitting on the bench picking up his money.
He continued: “He (Gary Mills, York boss) said that he was giving me a rest recently and then the game that I rested the team won and he’s kept the same team from there.
“It’s just unfortunate and he knows how much I love playing.
“Football’s my life, so when I’m not playing I get disappointed.
“Lots of players maybe sit there and are not bothered about playing, be on the bench no problems, but with me, I love football so much and love playing.
“It was the distance too, I’m from up that way as well, so I thought it was a good chance to stay in the Football League, but this has happened pretty quickly.
“I was buzzing to be back involved, and had no hesitation whatsoever over joining.
“I know Paul well, I respect him a lot and I know how big Luton are. Luton’s a massive club so I’m delighted to come and play. The quality I’ve seen, this team can win the league no problem. We just need to keep working hard, get on a run, and I think we’ll be all right.”
City boss Mills hasn’t ruled out keeping hold of his midfielder though, if he gets back to his early season form that saw him feature heavily in the Minstermen’s start to the campaign during his time at Kenilworth Road.
He said: “He knows what he’s capable of and he can still play a major part in our season if he gets back to that.
“He’s on a two-year contract with us and there’s no way I’m saying he won’t come back in January and play in every game until the end of the season, but he just hasn’t been the player he knows he can be and I know he can be this season.
“Sometimes that happens and this has come about. They’ve been chasing him for two or three weeks and rang me again after Saturday’s match. I’ve had a good chat with him, he’s been frustrated being out of the team and he’s decided he would like to go there for a couple of months to play games.”
Hatters boss Paul Buckle was delighted with his new charge’s first outing as with the excellent Mendy, they look like they could form a formidable central midfield partnership.
He added: “He was quality, absolutely what I’m looking for in a midfield player. I think he’s shown everyone why I brought him to the club as I thought him and Mendy were outstanding.
“He’s a brilliant addition, he was mobile, got his foot in and I thought his distribution was good as well.”
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