Edwards thrilled to have the 'physicality' of Luton attacker Onyedinma at his disposal once more

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Winger came on during second half at Blackburn Rovers on Monday

Town boss Rob Edwards is thrilled to have Fred Onyedinma back and available for the Hatters going into their play-off campaign that starts in just over a week’s time.

The 26-year-old has endured his second successive injury-hit season at Kenilworth Road after joining in the summer of 2021, making 16 Championship appearances, but only five of them from the start.

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He has begun twice in the league for Edwards, the last coming during the 1-0 win at Sheffield United, with a further six outings off the bench.

Town attacker Fred OnyedinmaTown attacker Fred Onyedinma
Town attacker Fred Onyedinma

Onyedinma’s most recent involvement had been the 1-1 draw at Sunderland on March 18, before he was absent once more, returning to take his place among the substitutes at Blackburn Rovers on Monday, coming on for the final 25 minutes in place of Alfie Doughty.

It means he could now feature against Hull City on Monday and also be available for the play-off semi-finals, having missed out in the two-legged clash against Huddersfield Town last season due to another injury.

On his return, Edwards said: “It’s really pleasing to have him back.

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"He’s someone that’s got physicality that no-one else really, maybe even in the league has got.

“He’s got some real pace, real speed, strong attributes and he’s someone that we’re going to need, so we’re really pleased to have Fred back.”

The return of Onyedinma means that with Gabe Osho and Reece Burke also back in full training, it could mean that Town are only without striker Cauley Woodrow for the clash with the Tigers in a few days time, going into the play-offs with a virtually fully fit squad.

Edwards hopes so, as he wants the selection headaches that will bring him, continuing: “To win football matches and big football matches you want to be able to select your strongest team and squad.

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"If everyone’s fit and available then I’ve got some really big decisions to make, but I’m happy to make them.

"I’d rather be that way than not having people available like we had last year, so it puts us in a much better position by having those difficult decisions and a really strong squad.

"The lads know it, they’re all backing each other now, whoever we pick they’ll be supportive of and we all want the same thing.”

It wasn’t just Onyedinma who was unavailable at this stage last term, but Gabe Osho, Luke Berry, Elijah Adebayo, James Shea and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu were all missing too, meaning Luton were at a huge disadvantage when going down 2-1 to the Terriers.

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With all of them expected to be fit to face whoever Luton find themselves going up against for a place at Wembley, on whether it will make them doubly determined to make an impact in the contest, Edwards added: “Potentially, I don’t know, I’m obviously not them.

"I think there’s just a hunger in the group anyway to try and be successful, whatever your situation.

"If you’re in a team that does well it helps you, whether that’s for next season, if you’re staying or going, so it helps everyone at the club.”