Hatters boss believes it's too early to start labelling games as six-pointers
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Luton boss Rob Edwards feels it is too early in the season to start labelling games as six pointers, as he believes his side have a chance of getting a result in every match this play this term.
The Hatters start a run of four matches at Fulham this afternoon where it appears on paper at least, that they simply have to pick up some points if they are to survive in the top flight this term.
Following the trip to Craven Cottage, Town then entertain Wolves next weekend, before a trip to Everton and a home match against Burnley rescheduled for Tuesday, October 3.
With all the sides currently in the bottom half of the the table, Everton and Burnley occupying two of the relegation places, Luton the other, then the quartet of fixtures represent a huge chance for the Hatters to get their campaign up and running.
Ahead of the contest, Edwards didn’t want to attach any extra importance to the upcoming matches though, as he said: “We go into every game, whether I’m naive, or you can call me whatever you want, but I was going into Brighton and Chelsea away expecting that we’ll be in the game and it’s an opportunity for three points.
“We have to feel like that.
"I get the question, it’s quite funny this year already, people are bigging up certain games as relegation battles and six-pointers.
"We’re very, very early in the season, but every game is an opportunity for us to win or get points in the league, we have to see it like that.”
Fulham, under Marco Silva, are no gimme in the Premier League though, as after winning promotion in 2021, then managed to not just stay up last term, but go on and flourish, finishing in an impressive 10th place.
Although they have taken just four points from their first four games, the Cottagers have gone up against both Arsenal and Manchester City, drawing 2-2 at the Emirates, before a 5-1 thrashing at the champions, which only came about following a controversial goal scored by Nathan Ake when the score was 1-1.
Edwards knows that West Londoners will be taxing opponents, particularly on home soil, as he continued: “Every game away in the Premier League, especially for the newly-promoted sides, is difficult and Saturday will be no different.
"Fulham are a very good footballing team, they’ve had a difficult run of fixtures recently but they’re a very good team and we’re aware of their strengths.
“Marco Silva’s a top manager, so what we’ve got to make sure we do is learn from all elements of the three games we’ve had so far.
“They’re a good team, with very good individuals and well-coached.
“Obviously, being at home, of course they’re going to be favourites, but we’ll go there with a real gameplan and look to try and build on what was, in the main, a good performance against West Ham.
"We’ll certainly be looking to try and win the game.”
Fulham are having to manage without their 14-goal striker from last year, a player who always enjoyed scoring against Luton, Serbian forward Aleksander Mitrovic.
Tempted away by Saudi club Al-Hilal last month, it has seen the Cottagers bolster their forward line with the addition of Wolves striker Raul Jimenez, who is yet to score, while they also shelled out £22m on deadline day to bring in Everton’s Alex Iwobi as well.
Edwards always felt they would be able to cope with such a high profile departure, saying: “Bringing in Raul Jimenez, he’s a very, very good player, but they’ve got excellent players around that.
"They weren’t just a one-man team.
"Marco Silva and his staff are very, very good, so they’re always going to be able to find ways.
“We’ve seen that with a number of different teams recently.
"Big players have left but teams can still improve even, because they’ve got to find a different way.
“We’ll say this about every single team, they’ve all got good players going forward and that’s what you’ve got to expect at this level.
"So we’ve got to be able to deal with that and that’s got to give us a good platform then to hopefully be able to go and attack, but that solidity is something we’ve got to really focus on."
Although Luton are yet to register a point, losing to Brighton, Chelsea and West Ham, Edwards believes he has seen enough progress in each fixture to know it won’t be long before they do.
He added: “It’s only been three games but we’ve improved in each of the three of them.
"We’ve got to make sure we don’t give any gifts away and that we’re very compact and resilient when we need to be.
“We need to defend the box very well, but be more ruthless in those transitional moments or when we do get those opportunities to have attempts on goal.
“We had more shots and more attempts than West Ham in the last game, maybe better chances as well, but we still came off as the losing side.
“We’ve got to make sure that, at both ends of the pitch, we’re more ruthless.”