Edwards refuses to take any credit for Luton Town's success insisting his job has been 'pretty easy'

Hatters chief prefers to praise those around him
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Luton boss Rob Edwards is refusing to take any credit whatsoever for the Hatters’ wonderful season that has seen them reach the Championship play-off final at Wembley this weekend, stating that ‘anyone’ could have done it.

The 40-year-old took charge at Kenilworth Road back in November when Nathan Jones departed for Premier League Southampton, taking over a Town team that were sitting 10th in the table after 21 matches, although just two points off the top six.

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Since then, the former Forest Green chief has led Luton to a magnificent 14 victories from 25 regular league games, making Kenilworth Road a fortress once more, Town going 12 games unbeaten away from home at one stage, with Edwards also masterminding a first ever EFL play-off victory too, overcoming Sunderland 3-2 on aggregate to reach the home of English football.

Luton manager Rob Edwards - pic: Tony MargiocchiLuton manager Rob Edwards - pic: Tony Margiocchi
Luton manager Rob Edwards - pic: Tony Margiocchi

Despite all of that, the ex-Wales international felt his role in moving just 90 minutes away from a place in the Premier League, Coventry City the opponents tomorrow, was limited at best, saying: “I’m not giving myself any credit.

"Other people can do that, I’m never going to do that.

“It’s not down to me, it’s down to everyone and the plan that the club has got.

"I honestly think that anyone could’ve come in and done what I’ve done this year.

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"It’s been pretty easy, just to keep things going, I’m just really lucky that they picked me. “

On where the plaudits behind Luton’s success should lie, Edwards continued: “There’s a lot of people that deserve a lot of credit for that.

"Gary (Sweet, CEO) on the board for the plan and how what they’ve done in bringing this club back from the depths in not that long a period, is incredible.

Mick Harford, whatever role he’s been in, he is a legend at this football club in terms of the recruitment now with him, Chappie (Phil Chapple), Jay (Socik) and the recruitment team.

"Without good players you can’t be a good coach or manager.

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“John Still, that promotion out of the National League was arguably the most important one and the hardest one to do.

"It’s lovely to see him, he was talking to my dad after the game the other day and he said some nice things to my dad and that meant a lot, that was special.

“Then, obviously, what Nathan has done, taking the club on from League Two and upwards with help from Mick and one or two other people, Alan (Sheehan) and Chris (Cohen), his assistants.

"They deserve a heck of a lot of credit.

“There’s been a plan and the guys who make the decisions, along with me, we won’t ever let the club get into that place again.

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“So, it shows you can do it, you can achieve something, but you’ve got to have a plan, consistency, recruit well, be savvy and then know what you are and try to be good at it.

"I think that’s what we’ve done really well.

Although Edwards might not want to take any credit himself, Town CEO Gary Sweet was certainly not about to let that be the case, lavishing praise on the work that the former Wolves and Blackpool defender has done, along with those around him too.

He said: “I couldn’t be prouder.

"In Rob we couldn’t have had a better human being to come in to carry on the great job that Nathan did do and the mantle that he left and to do that in a way which couldn’t be more befitting of how we want our club to be represented.

"I spoke about how the manager is the key spokesman and Rob’s image and persona is impeccable on that front and reflects us, we’d love to think, perfectly,

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"He is a lot better than we are actually, I don’t think we could ever represent ourselves as well as he does, so I’m delighted he is doing that for us.

"Not just him but all of the staff, particularly the couple that he brought in, in Richie Kyle and Paul Trollope, who have been superb.”

When deciding to bring in Edwards after Jones moved to St Mary’s, then adding a wealth of coaching knowledge was something Sweet and those involved in the decision-making were determined to do.

He continued: “We were very, very conscious that in that change, in that transition we lost three really good people (Jones, Sheehan and Cohen).

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"They had collectively around 17 years of coaching experience so when we were looking in that improvement, we got our recruitment side spot on.

"Our recruitment was fantastic, Mick and Phil Chapple and Jay and the scouting team including David Moss, they’re a fantastic team.

"They get us, they understand us and we’ve almost got that nailed, because they’re Luton and they know maybe it’s not a structure that would work anywhere else in some ways.

“What we then do is if you recruit the right player you’ve then got to develop that player so we needed to improve, we saw the opportunity lets say of improving our coaching capability.

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"We’ve effectively replaced about 17 years experience with about 45 years of coaching experience with those three.

"That experience has been at all levels but particularly through the FA and various age groups so we also want that to be carried out here where we are looking at developing our own younger players.

"That is the next stage of our development, so all of the boxes were ticked.

"I couldn’t be prouder of those three, I couldn’t be prouder of the existing staff that just folded into that structure under those guys and certainly couldn’t be prouder of the players.

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"They have been magnificent on the pitch and off the pitch.”

Although this is just his second season in Football League management, Edwards is already getting used to success, having led Forest Green Rovers to the League Two title last year.

A brief spell at Watford at the start of the season didn’t go quite the way he would have wanted, sacked after 10 league games, but he has restored his reputation immediately with the work done at Kenilworth Road.

Once more though, Edwards put that down to those around him, adding: “Someone asked me, you got promoted last year and doing this now, you’ve got the winning formula, but I’ll tell you what it is, it’s good people, I’m around good people.

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"At Forest Green I had really good people there, I had good players, that’s what I had.

"I had good players and a team that finished in the play-offs the year before, much like Luton Town now, so I thought good people, good players, a plan, time, they’re used to winning, we could be successful there.

"That’s why I left the FA, I thought we could win there, and we did.

“I probably went against my better judgement with the next one, but got back on track with this one, support, time, good people, good players, got in the play-offs, they’re used to winning, we can win here.

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“Looking at a lot of the games, when you’re going in you try and make yourself really aware of the players and you watch a lot of footage so I’m prepared when I have my interview and I'm talking about the squad.

"What I could see was a really good group of players that are being very competitive and were in a good spot in in the league.

"But then you don’t see everything behind and all the really good people, great people that are there that put in so much time and effort to make sure the club is run really smoothly and really effectively.

"There’s some brilliant people here.”