Edwards hopes to have proved any doubters wrong after likening Hornets spell to riding Alton Towers' Oblivion rollercoaster

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Town chief managing the pressure of play-off decider

Hatters boss Rob Edwards hopes to have proved to a few people that he still has what it takes to be a manager after describing his short spell at Watford earlier this season to that of the sheer drop Oblivion rollercoaster at Alton Towers.

The 40-year-old took charge at Vicarage Road back in the summer, after a highly impressive first full term in senior management in which he won the League Two title with an unfancied Forest Green side, named Manager of the Year in the fourth tier as well.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Despite being told he would be backed come ‘hell or high water’ by the Hornets hierarchy, Edwards was swiftly out of a job after just 10 league and four months at the helm when dismissed in September.

Hatters boss Rob EdwardsHatters boss Rob Edwards
Hatters boss Rob Edwards

Appointed Luton chief in November once Nathan Jones had moved to Southampton, the ex-Welsh international has shown just how good a manager he is, leading the Hatters to third in the table and a play-off semi-final with Sunderland.

He hopes it has shown any doubters that he still has what it takes, saying: “We all know it happened pretty suddenly, but I don’t think anyone was that surprised.

"I reflected, I believe in myself and my team as well and the people that I’ve got around me.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"You hope to get back in (to management) quickly, but you can never think, ‘oh we’re going to get back in and we’re going to be in the play-offs’.

“It’s hard to think that but when I got the opportunity to come into this club I thought, all right, we’ve got a chance and 25 league games later we’re in, so I’m delighted that we’re in this position.

“I think it’s hard when you’ve been sacked after 10 league games to then think right, ‘it’s all going to be all right’

“It’s difficult, it knocks you, it does knock your confidence.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"But it’s nice to then hopefully prove to a few people that I can do the job.

“Once I did get the job, we really believed that we could do something.

“Now we’re here, we almost believed and expected to be in this position, I’ll be honest, with this group of players that we took over with.

“I’m not surprised, but when I got sacked, you don’t know if you’re going to get in again.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"You don’t know what type of opportunities you’re going to get, going forwards, so I’m pleased that I’m here.

“I think we probably all knew that Watford was going to end like that at some stage, and possibly quite quickly, a bit like the Oblivion, if you want to use the rollercoaster (analogy), if you’ve done that one at Alton Towers, so, it was a bit of that.

“It’s been a nice, steady incline since and hopefully it’s not finished yet.”

Edwards’ stint as Luton boss has been mainly one of ups with just the odd tiny down, letting a 2-0 lead slip against West Bromwich Albion, going out of the FA Cup at Grimsby and then Saturday’s 2-1 defeat in the first leg at the Stadium of Light.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, it won’t be something that he dwells on too much ahead of this evening’s second leg, continuing: “We’re still confident, we’re still a half decent team and we can give anyone a game on the day.

"Just because we’ve lost once, it doesn’t mean anyone’s going to drop their heads or lost any confidence or belief, or starting blaming or anything like that.

“The lads are with it, totally, and I’ve got total belief.”

On how Edwards is dealing with the pressure that comes with taking a team into the play-offs, speaking yesterday, he added: “We have dreamt about it (the Premier League) and thought about it, long term, but now the games are here, it’s just pure focus on that.

“I feel like I’m dealing with it fine. I’ve got an amazing group of staff that I feel like I can talk about things with, or unload stuff if I need to.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“They help. You need good people around you, and I feel like I’ve got that.

"I’ve got complete faith in the players as well.

“The lads give us a lot of confidence as well when I come in and see them in the morning.

"It’s nice, I get a good buzz from that.”