The retained list is out – and I just want to wish all the best to the lads who are moving on. I know that’s part of football but you work with players all year and it’s always a sad time to see them go.
So, good luck to all the lads, including our two loan players Jake Taylor and Mitch Clark who are heading back to Nottingham Forest and Leicester City.
Jake was superb for us and we are going to miss him. But he’s got a new contract at Forest and this is a good chance for him now.
Taking him on loan worked out really well for us and him. He basically came on trial with us at the start of last season before signing but did so well that the manager signed him up, then he certainly took his chance.
Not all young players can do that. Some can’t handle the pressure of the games or aren’t physical enough, but Jake never looked back.
You could see his confidence grow throughout the season. I used to have a go at him for shooting all the time – but he would stick them right in the top bin! Hopefully for his point of view he can go on and have a chance to get in the Forest squad. If that doesn’t happen then I am sure we’d love to have him back here.
As for Mitch, his loan spell was shorter this year than last but we already knew what a good player he is.
I didn’t hide away from the fact I thought he made a mistake when he joined Leicester under-23s last summer rather than sign for us after doing well here on loan from Aston Villa.
But Leicester were probably paying a lot more than we could offer him. He’s a quality full back and I think he’s another that will do really well. I’m sure he’s going to have a good career.
The manager definitely went for quality over quantity with his loan players. That makes sense because I don’t think it helps anyone to have too many.
We had seven a couple of years ago, but you could only play five because of the league rules.
So, John didn’t fill out his squad with loan signings. Instead, you could see last year he signed some players he had worked with before and trusted. If I was a manager that’s what I would do, get together a group of players I knew I could rely on and then add one or two loan players rather than gamble on five or six.