Fleetwood Town head coach Uwe Rosler joked that he sent Conor McLaughlin to the mountains to ensure he had no signal to avoid rival clubs luring him away on transfer deadline day.
But Rosler soon moved away from his jovial tone as he underlined his belief that Town must keep their best players if they want to progress.
Before Rosler’s arrival McLaughlin, who has a year left on his contract, had reportedly attracted interest of sides including Leeds, Reading and the right-back’s former club, Preston North End.
But despite the reported interest, McLaughlin – who made one appearance for Northern Ireland in France at the European Championships against Poland – will remain in the red and white strip, although he won’t feature today against Coventry as he is again on international duty. Rosler joked: “The way we kept hold of him was sending him to the mountains so he could not get a signal and so he was not available for anyone from our club or opposition managers to contact him so it was a good strategy.”
But after a gaggle of laughter from the press Rosler emphasised the need to keep hold of their best players.
Rosler said: “I mean, I’m very happy to keep the whole squad including Conor.
“I think he gets better and better. In the beginning when I came in you could see that he has not had a lot of holiday.
“In the last two years, not just this summer, so I think he is refreshed and we have to look after him the proper way because he has played a lot of football in the last two years.
“I’m delighted that he is with us and I think if we want to move forward we need to make sure we keep our best players.”