Bradley: 'Outstanding' Hatters fans deserve a trip to Wembley in the play-off final

Luton captain praises Kenilworth Road crowd on Friday night

By Mike Simmonds
Sunday, 15th May 2022, 4:37 pm

Town skipper Sonny Bradley believe that the ‘outstanding’ Luton fans are the most deserving of a trip to Wembley in the Championship play-off final later this month.

The Hatters take on Huddersfield in the second leg tomorrow night, with the sides all square at 1-1 from the first game on Friday night.

With a packed house creating a terrific atmosphere at Kenilworth Road throughout the 90 minutes, the captain admitted it helped the players hit back from falling behind early on to Danel Sinani’s 12th minute strike.

Luton fans sing their hearts out against Huddersfield on Friday night

It was Bradley himself who popped up with the equaliser just 18 minutes later too, volleying home Kal Naismith’s free kick, as the defender said: “They were absolutely outstanding again.

"I had no doubt that this was the way it was going to be and what sums it up is they scored a goal and I can hear our fans singing louder than their fans.

"When that happens, that injects energy back into the players and that allowed us to have that reaction.

"Within 10-15 minutes we were still on the front foot and go and get that goal as the fans really make that difference, so without them, it could have been a different game, or gone a different way.

"We needed them tonight, they’ve done their job, they’ve done their bit, it’s up to the players now to turn up at Huddersfield and do the business.

"In my opinion, if any set of fans deserve a trip out to Wembley, it’s the Luton fans, because they've been absolutely outstanding both home and away this season.”

After 12 years as being a pro and almost 450 matches, it was the 30-year-old’s first taste of play-off action and on what he made of the first 90 minutes, he continued: “I enjoyed it, I enjoy big nights.

“As footballers when you’re growing up, this is what you’re in the game for, to play in these moments, to play in these big games.

"We spoke about it at the start of the season, wanting to get in the top six, we’ve done that and we’ve done that for a reason because we want these big games.

"The players have got us here and we’re in the position, the staff as well, but the fans deserve these games more than anyone.

"We’ve got a few days now to soak up the atmosphere even more, I’m sure we’ll be having a good weekend and I don’t think there will be too many disheartened by the result.

"Maybe there’ll be a few disappointed as it would have been nice to go there in the lead, but it’s not to be and the fans, I think they’ll be 2,000 going there, they’ll be right behind us and we’ve been good away from home this season.

"We’ve just got to go there, give 100 per cent, throw everything at it and hopefully we can get the win.”

Boss Nathan Jones was another who also enjoyed the Hatters’ first experience of the second tier play-offs, adding: “The lead-up, the build-up, everything’s been fantastic.

"It’s wonderful that we’re in the Championship play-offs, we have to pinch ourselves a little bit from that.

"There's never been a club with our budget this high in the league, so we’ve done wonderful work and we’re right in the fight to try to get to Wembley, to try to then get to the Premier League.

"I’m really proud of everyone at the football club as for us to do it, it’s not just a team of 11 players or management, a whole club has to come together for us to do it as resources wise we’re behind most people.

"Especially in the Championship, we are definitely behind everyone from third to sixth.

"So in our little mini league, we are the poor neighbours, but everything we can do we can match and we can stay with them as we do things phenomenally well right from top to bottom and that’s something we can be really proud of.