Emotional Edwards lauds his Luton players for an 'incredible' display at the end of challenging week

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Town pick up third Premier League win by beating Newcastle United

Luton boss Rob Edwards reserved huge praise for his players for being able to end what has been a hugely challenging week for all those at Kenilworth Road with a 1-0 victory over Newcastle United this afternoon.

The Town squad had to witness team-mate Tom Lockyer receive life-saving treatment on the pitch at AFC Bournemouth last weekend, after suffering a cardiac arrest, finally getting the news he was able to return home on Thursday.

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Despite that, and the emotion that would have surrounded the training ground at Brache since then, they still managed to execute their gameplan magnificently against the Magpies, Andros Townsend scoring the only goal of the game on 25 minutes to seal a third top flight victory of the campaign.

Andros Townsend holds Tom Lockyer's shirt aloft after scoring the winner against Newcastle - pic: Liam SmithAndros Townsend holds Tom Lockyer's shirt aloft after scoring the winner against Newcastle - pic: Liam Smith
Andros Townsend holds Tom Lockyer's shirt aloft after scoring the winner against Newcastle - pic: Liam Smith

Speaking afterwards, Edwards said: “I’m an emotional wreck at the moment aren’t I, my kids are going to be hammering me for crying again, I’ve got to stop, but I’m just immensely proud of everyone.

“This has been a really challenging week for everyone and they don’t teach you this on the coaching courses, how you deal with stuff like this. I’ve needed my team around me, I’ve needed my staff, Gary (Sweet), the CEO, the board, the players, they’ve been amazing, really brave and we’ve rallied around each other.

“I’ve got to be honest, it’s been hard to concentrate on a game of football this week with everyone that’s gone on and my focus has been on Tom and his family. Then there’s been a job to do, an important Premier League game, but we’ve all helped each other and the performance today I thought was incredible.”

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Edwards had called on his players to mirror their captain’s desire and will to win on the afternoon and he felt that was exactly what occurred throughout the 90 minutes.

After Townsend found the net, Luton could have had a second and even a third, Ross Barkley denied a stunning goal by the underside of the crossbar, Elijah Adebayo having an effort saved by Martin Dubravka and Jacob Brown also hitting the woodwork.

The Town chief continued: “I think the performance was the most complete performance that we’ve had so far this season. We’ve been playing really, really well and so I don’t think it’s because of what’s happened that we’ve won the game today and kept a clean sheet.

“We did talk about it, we wanted to do it for Tom, but I don’t think there was any extra motivation there. We’ve always wanted it, we wanted to win, we wanted to fight, but I thought today we really embodied everything that Tom Lockyer is as every single individual that went out there, even the ones that didn’t, supported each other, fought for each other, they were brave, so brave.

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“You see how aggressive we were against them out of possession, you see where some of our defenders are going to go and press and then I thought we took the ball really well, especially in the first half.

“I thought we showed really good moments of control, very good football, we deserved to win the game today, we were the better team, in my opinion.

“We were unlucky, Ross’s magical moment, a really good move and Browny was unlucky, he hit the woodwork as well. Eli had a one-on-one, there were chances there for us today. If we could have been a bit slicker and quicker in the final third at times, there could have been more there for us, but luckily we only needed the one today.

"We had good chances and I thought the performance was incredible considering everything that the players had been through emotionally as well. But it doesn't surprise me at all as I think that’s the way we’ve been building recently.”