Hatters confirm Boucaud exit

Luton Town have confirmed that midfielder Andre Boucaud has joined League One Notts County for an undisclosed fee, writes Mark Wood.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 10th January 2013, 5:33 pm

Yesterday we exclusively revealed that the two clubs had agreed a fee in excess of the £25,000 Luton paid York City for his services last season.

At today’s press conference, assistant manager Alan Neilson said: “Boucaud’s left now. And Dean Beckwith’s gone now, he’s gone to Eastleigh.

“That was nothing to do with myself or Embo (Carl Emberson). The gaffer and Gary Sweet sorted that out.

“I think all parties were happy. We wish him all the best for his future and I’m sure he wishes us the same.”

Neilson didn’t believe there were any other deals in the reckoning, but admitted things change quickly in football.

However, they are looking to get a number of the club’s youngsters out on loan, with some of them already impressing.

He continued: “We’re letting a few of the development players go out on loan now.

“Jake Woolley’s going to Hitchin so he’ll be playing for them on Saturday and Monday.

“Alex Lacey went out and played for Eastleigh on Tuesday night, they won 5-0 and I spoke to him yesterday and he was man of the match.

“It’s all about developing the players. But we’ve still got to keep a squad together because we haven’t got a massive squad.

“And we’re still looking to add the right ones if they come along into the squad.

“There’s a few more development players we are trying to get out.

“I said before the squad is quite small and it can soon change with an injury here, an injury there, they might stay here and play games.”

Neilson admitted the January transfer window can make things a little disconcerting, but that it doesn’t really affect the coaching staff so much, although they are sometimes asked for their opinions.

He said: “I think us as coaches, me and Embo, we don’t really see much of it, it’s all up above us the MD and the manager. If a bid comes into the club then it will go to Gary Sweet.

“Sometimes it’s a bit nerve-racking because we know at this football club that we’ve got good players.

“And the teams above us in the Football League are always looking for good players.

“They are always looking to improve their squad either to push to get promotion or to get better players in to avoid relegation. And we’re the same, we’re pushing for promotion and we’ll be looking to improve our squad if we can.

“The lads are good, they just get on with it. Nobody speaks about other clubs here, it’s all about Luton Town and if they do I’m sure the gaffer would nip it in the bud straight away.

“I think the MD and the club want to get promoted and get back in the Football League.

“We are not in a situation where we have to go out and sell players. Us and coaches and managers want to go out and improve the players and not stop them, but get our goals as well. And our goal is to do well, win the league, do well in the FA Trophy and get as far as we can in the FA Cup.

“And the FA Cup run has been superb for the entire club, generating money for the club and obviously generating the fans, the fans have loved the FA Cup so far.

“We’re in the fourth round and as they say you never know what can happen.

“It’s the gaffer’s and the MD’s final choice on the players we sign.

“They’ll ask our opinion, do you know him, do you rate him? Myself, Carl Emberson, Paul Carden, we all give our views.

“(We’ll say) I don’t know him, I haven’t seen him, but we are all out there watching games.”

Scouts and managers are continually onlookers at Luton’s games, but Neilson believes it’s just part and parcel of football.

“It shows the training and the way we are playing games, people are taking notice,” he said.

“Wolves on Saturday, there hasn’t been many games on Tuesday night so it’s not very far for the managers from around London to come and watch players.

“I said before a lot of teams will be watching the majority of our players. We believe we’ve got players who can play at a higher level. Whatever league you’re in it happens at every single football club.

“But if we haven’t got a game Tuesday night, myself, Carl (Emberson), the gaffer will be out watching other games and watching other players.

“All football clubs should have a dossier of players, going out looking for the players.

“You say he’s played well, he’s played well. And you’ll have a dossier of names if something happens, if somebody is sold, if somebody gets injured you can say bang, there’s a list, you need a centre-half, we like him, we like him.

“All clubs will be looking. Because we’ve done well in the FA Cup, we’re doing well in the league, teams and managers will come and watch us.”

One of the most likely Town stars to attract interest is 10-goal striker Andre Gray.

The pacy and hard-working forward has produced some scintillating performances this season and Neilson believes his and the coaches’ hard work is paying dividends.

He added: “Andre he sits at the back of the bus, he’s with Jake Howells and Ronnie Henry at the back. When the team coach goes away they’ve got a little cove at the back.

“Training-wise he’s absolutely superb. He’s out there working all the time. He’s got little balls, he’s banging them into the net.

“Carl Emberson’s done a lot of work with him on his hold-up work to improve. He’s so strong and powerful, he’s what I call a raw striker.

“Sometimes you don’t know what he’s going to do but his power and pace will just get him in there.

“He’s still very young, he’s still learning all the time and this place here is a place he can learn, with the gaffer, myself, with Embo and with all the coaches.

“He’s a winning lad and a great lad to train. He really wants to get to the top.”