Former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer highlights the job done by Luton boss Rob Edwards

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Premier League legend was left impressed by the Hatters during 4-4 draw at St James’ Park

Former Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers and England striker Alan Shearer believes Town boss Rob Edwards deserves huge credit for the way in which he has turned Luton from a side who looked like they might struggle to stay in the Premier League this term, to one that now has every chance of avoiding the drop back to the Championship.

The Hatters were up against Shearer's former side at St James’ Park on Saturday, as in a cauldron-like atmosphere of over 52,000, they played their part in one of the top flight’s classic matches of the season. Behind twice in the first half, Luton got themselves back on level terms by the interval with Gabe Osho and Ross Barkley on target. They then threatened an almighty shock after the break, as Carlton Morris tucked home from the penalty spot, with Elijah Adebayo notching his ninth of the campaign and fourth in two matches, when locating the bottom corner from an incisive breakaway.

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Although the Magpies did hit back through England international Kieran Trippier and £40m summer signing Harvey Barnes, Town dug in for the final stages, including 10 minutes of injury time, and came close to winning themselves when Chiedozie Ogbene's volley was saved. Importantly, the visitors didn’t concede again to ensure they left with what was a more than deserved point to climb out of the bottom three, and speaking to the The Rest is Football podcast, Shearer, who had been in attendance himself, said: “I was there, it was an unbelievable game.

Luton midfielder Sambi Lokonga looks to make a challenge on Newcastle's Jacob Murphy - pic: Liam SmithLuton midfielder Sambi Lokonga looks to make a challenge on Newcastle's Jacob Murphy - pic: Liam Smith
Luton midfielder Sambi Lokonga looks to make a challenge on Newcastle's Jacob Murphy - pic: Liam Smith

"We have to mention Rob Edwards and the job he's doing at Luton as he's given them a right good chance of staying up. They were brilliant Luton, they came to Newcastle and they didn’t sit back, they were prepared to give it a right good go and they nearly did it. I did say to my mates, when we went 4-2 down, I think we'll win this 5-4. It got to 4-4 and they had a couple of really big chances, but I thought Luton deserved everything they got.”

The contest in the north east did further strengthen Barkley’s credentials for a recall to the England side ahead of their upcoming friendlies with Belgium and Brazil, plus his chances of being named on the plan for the Euro Championships taking place later this year. On the former Everton and Chelsea player, Shearer continued: “I think he's the one player in that team who is really brave on the ball. They’re not afraid to give him the ball in tricky situations, or when someone’s marking him because of his ability, because he's that good and having such a great season. He can keep it, he can create, he can pick a pass, he’s having a great season and he played a really good game.”

Former Manchester City and Aston Villa defender Micah Richards was also highly impressed with not just Barkley, but a number of his Town team-mates, adding: “He's got that talent, but the thing I like about him is he’s more composed. The way he just slows it down, his decision-making is a lot better now, obviously that happens with maturity, but he's just been a star, along with I have to say (Alfie) Doughty, at left wingback, him as well. He’s got a wonderful left foot, up and down, really good quality. Ogbene was very good against Dan Burn, but I just think they’ve got some really good players, they know what they’re good at, they stick to their principles and they do it very well."