How Rob Edwards is making Luton Town a Premier League club

Unbeaten in three Premier League games, unbeaten in six games in all competitions, into the fifth round of the FA Cup and eight goals scored in the last two games. Luton Town are beginning to find form at the right time in their bid to beat the drop in their first ever season in the Premier League.

They were written off by most in the summer but they are now thriving at the challenge. With 16 games to play they are sitting 16th in the league on 20 points. When they have come up against the big six, Luton have competed well. Losing narrowly to Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City, whilst beating Newcastle at Kenilworth Road and earning a draw against Liverpool.

Their incredible 4-4 draw away to Newcastle was another example of their endeavour, character and competitiveness, although manger Rob Edwards may feel disappointed they did not take all three points away from St. James Park. Luton are still without a clean sheet away from home, but the goals are coming which is a major positive when fighting at the bottom.

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“I have said to the players, this is the best way for us to get results,” said Edwards after Saturday’s eight goal thriller.

“The players have really bought into it. We have been this way before, but it suits who we are and what we are.

“It suits the whole football club to be honest. It gives us more threat and upsets the flow of the opposition.”

On his side’s performance against Newcastle, Edwards added: “I am very proud and pleased. We were brave. They came back quickly and the way we stayed composed and didn’t go under [was pleasing].

“That could have happened in this cauldron of an atmosphere. We even had a chance to win it at the end. It was an even game and a great game.

“There are always areas to improve. We are human beings and we make mistakes and we will always make mistakes.”

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Edwards’ managerial career journey has been remarkable. Starting out at AFC Telford, he moved on to manage England’s under 16s. In 2021 he took over at League Two Forest Green Rovers and worked wonders with his squad, winning promotion into League One for the first time in the club’s history.

This gained the attention of Watford, of the Championship, who had recently been relegated from the Premier League under Roy Hodgson. Edwards accepted the job, and made a two league step up into the second tier.

Watford only won three of their first 10 Championship games and Edwards was relieved on his duties in late September 2022. This was deemed a harsh decision by many as he was selected to manage a project.

But less than two months later he was back in management, this time at Watford’s rivals Luton. Edwards did a remarkable job, finishing third in the league and entering the play offs. After beating Sunderland over two legs, Luton found themselves at Wembley for the Championship play-off final against Coventry.

After an even 1-1 draw, the game went to penalties where Luton sealed promotion after Fankaty Dabo missed the only penalty in the shoot-out.

It was an incredible story, and testament to Edwards and Luton for battling on at Wembley, after Tom Lockyer collapsed early on in the final. An emotional Edwards’ first reaction after the game was one of concern for his captain, an indication of his character and why he is beloved at the club despite not being there very long.

Luton had made it, from non-league to the promised land of the Premier League, an incredible story.

After a slow start, Luton have gradually started to look like part of the fabric of the Premier League, gaining their first point in a 1-1 home draw to Wolves, and securing their first ever Premier League win a week later against Everton.

They have a crucial game next up against Sheffield United, and after that they face the two Manchester clubs back-to-back. But Luton are proving many of the doubters wrong and will be excited to once again shock pundits and fans a like.

The heart and desire of the squad, with Rob Edwards’ bravery, tactics and man management is making Luton serious contenders to beat the drop, as Edwards tries to continue to change the fortunes of the club, making sure they belong in the Premier League.

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