Sutton United boss Ernie Howe has revealed he turned down the chance to sign experienced former Arsenal star Ian Selley last week.

The 33-year-old, who won the European Cup Winners Cup with the Gunners, moved to Blue Square Premier side Grays Athletic on loan from Lewes after Howe pulled the plug on a bid to make him player-coach at Gander Green Lane.

Sutton board members wanted to bring the ex-Fulham, Southend and Woking midfielder to the club, but Howe vetoed what he described as a risky investment.

"He was going to be a little bit too expensive for us and I didn't think he was worth it in the end," he said.

"Ian has a wealth of experience and would have been good for us, but he has had a lot of injuries. If we were to invest that sort of money and he picks up another injury, it is money wasted.

"The board were keen to bring him in but, in the end, I wasn't prepared to take that gamble.

"Couple the cost of bringing him here with the injury concerns and the whole thing was frightening. We couldn't agree a pay-as-you-play deal, so I pulled out of it."

Howe watched his side deliver the best display of his reign in holding Ryman League Division One South leaders Dover Athletic to a 1-1 draw in the FA Trophy on Saturday.

Striker Warren McBean gave United a 30 minute lead and Howe's men created a host of others before being pegged back in the second half.

Even so, Howe was delighted with the efforts of an inexperienced back four - including teenage centre-back Tom Hughes - and is hoping they can build on the confidence gained from back-to-back draws.

"If we could have finished our chances it could have gone either way and we could even have nicked it at the end, but we are generally quite pleased with the result," added Howe.

"Teams playing with confidence at any level are difficult to play against, so it was never going to be easy.

"I was delighted with the youngsters and, in particular, Tom Hughes. It was his first game and he only found out he was playing less than three hours before kick-off."

Blue Square South bottom side Sutton host Basingstoke Town on Saturday looking to avenge the 1-0 opening day defeat and, with Howe expecting John Scarbrough and Lewis Gonsalves back from injury and suspension, he is hoping for a more settled side in the coming weeks..

"The league is the priority," he said.

"We have to start picking up wins. The youngsters haven't let anyone down, but I haven't been able to field the same back four in consecutive games since I've been here," he said.

"We are playing with a bit more confidence, which we can hopefully carry in to this weekend."