Hatters boss can take belief from how fellow play-off winners Nottingham Forest avoided Premier League relegation

Reds stayed up after being on the same points tally as Luton at the same stage last term
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Luton boss Rob Edwards is taking plenty of belief from today’s opponents Nottingham Forest and their ultimately successful battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League last season.

Town head to the City Ground this afternoon sitting just outside the drop zone, having picked up four points in their opening eight games.

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That was the same amount as Forest, who also reached the top flight by winning the play-offs, had at the same stage last term, although they were bottom of the table, with a goal difference of minus 15 having conceded six to Manchester City and four to Leicester.

Hatters boss Rob Edwards - pic: Liam SmithHatters boss Rob Edwards - pic: Liam Smith
Hatters boss Rob Edwards - pic: Liam Smith

Things didn’t immediately improve for Steve Cooper’s side either, taking two more points from their next three outings, but they then beat Liverpool 1-0 at the City Ground to really breathe life into their quest to stay up.

They still remained in and around the bottom three for the majority of the season, until a run of three victories and two draws from their final six matches, which took their tally of wins up to nine, saw them end up in 16th place as they eventually finished on 38 points and retained their Premier League status.

Knowing Luton are firmly entrenched in a relegation battle themselves this term, when looking at what the Reds managed to achieve, Edwards said: “That bit there gives us belief and some confidence that we can achieve a similar sort of thing.

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"We knew what we were going into when we went into this league, right the way throughout the season it’s going to be a difficult challenge.

"Hopefully we’re not alone in that.

"There’s going to be a number of clubs that will be competing around the same sort of area, at the moment, we’re in the mix, we’re in and around it and I’m seeing a team that’s focused and competing very well.

"There’s lots to take from it, certainly from Forest and the journey they had last year.

"It’s hard to compare us as we’re different football clubs and what they’ve done, it is different to us.

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“The change over, the turnover they had of players was different to us, but in terms of the points they went on to achieve, it gives us belief."

Forest have made a decent start to the current campaign, having taken nine points from their opening eight matches, beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and have drawn three from their last four as they sit in 13th position.

On the kind of side he believes Town will come up against, Edwards continued: “Forest are a team, yes they can take the ball, but they’ve been happy not to have it, with a similar amount of possession to ourselves.

"They’ve got a counter attacking threat, got very good players going forward, so we’ve got to make sure we can lock them out and try to nullify their strengths.

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"We’ve got to make sure we do what we do well, but try and cause some problems as well as I think teams have really struggled to break them down and create chances against them.

"That’s credit to Forest and the work they’re doing, so when we have done that well, that’s some of the stuff that we want to see.

“Where they have been better than us is both boxes, they’ve been more ruthless in both boxes.

"They have conceded less and scored more than us, but there are certain similarities there.

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“They’ll be frustrated that they’ve left one or two points out there and I think we are as well."

The fact that Town haven’t quite got the points tally their performances have deserved in recent weeks can be seen as a positive and negative by Edwards, as he added: “It’s a bit of both.

"It is frustrating immediately after the games, it’s tough as you think we should have got something there, that’s hard, but it does give you belief and confidence.

"I’m really proud of what the players are doing, they’re trying their best, giving absolutely everything, so we’ll keep working really, really hard and hopefully those things will turn.

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"We’ve got some really difficult fixtures coming up now, but every game in the Premier League is tough.

"In the last game we went up against one of the best teams at the moment (Spurs) and after that first 18 minutes or so, competed really well and showed some good stuff, so we can take a lot of confidence from that.”