Hatters boss determined to continue bridging the 'chasm' and keep Luton in the top flight

Town chief convinced his side can get a result at Arsenal this evening
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Luton boss Rob Edwards is determined to keep doing his utmost to bridge what he described as a 'chasm' between his side and the rest of the Premier League as Town look to keep their place in the highest tier of English football for another season.

The Hatters saw their hopes of staying up receive a blow last night, as fellow rivals Nottingham Forest and Everton both picked up points, the Reds beating Fulham 3-1 and the Toffees scoring late on to earn a 1-1 draw at Newcastle United. It means Luton are now three points away from safety, with their chance of cutting that gap appearing fairly slim as they go to an Arsenal side this evening who are unbeaten in the league since January 20 and involved in a three-way battle for the title with Liverpool and Manchester City.

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With the Gunners able to pick the likes of £100m signing Declan Rice, plus Kai Havertz at £65m, while Town’s club record signing is a mere fraction of that, £5m going on Ryan Giles, who has now been loaned to Hull City and the club shelling out just over £20m in total on their squad last summer, it shows just what the Hatters are up against on a regular basis.

Luton boss Rob Edwards looks on ahead of Town's 2-1 defeat to Spurs on Saturday - pic: Liam SmithLuton boss Rob Edwards looks on ahead of Town's 2-1 defeat to Spurs on Saturday - pic: Liam Smith
Luton boss Rob Edwards looks on ahead of Town's 2-1 defeat to Spurs on Saturday - pic: Liam Smith

Asked if he thinks that has been taken into account by others, Luton only being beaten by more than one goal on six occasions, especially as the Hatters head to north London with up to 13 players absent due to injury, Edwards said: “I think maybe when people think about it, but not the whole outside world, why would they? They wouldn’t necessarily look at Luton and what’s going on with us unless they were a Luton fan. They see Luton lose 2-1 to Tottenham on Saturday and go, ‘routine, unlucky, had a good go.’

"It is really difficult for us at the moment and this is where I don’t want to sound defeatist, but to be competing with that level of opposition and how good they are, is pretty good. I don't want to say that, I want to win, I want to get points, so from the outside, when you really think about it and when you step away from it and go, yes there’s a chasm.

"So for us in most games this season to keep that chasm pretty small and tight, the lads do deserve a lot of credit for that, but there’s eight more games to go, so we've got to keep on doing that. Now we’ve tasted this and a lot of the lads will feel the same, we feel at home at this level and we want to be here for a long time. We enjoy it and these games, they test us, they test me and the staff like nothing else and I love that, I love it. I love the challenge of it.

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"We’ve got to embrace the challenge, but I want to be in the Premier League forever. I’ve said this at the beginning of the season, I don’t want to be, let’s just enjoy this, one year and then off we go again, I don't want it to be that. I want to enjoy the moment, but we’ve been here for a while now, where we feel comfortable and we’re competing, so we want to make it the norm.”

Although almost all of the footballing world will be predicting a home banker tonight, the hosts priced at 1/16 to triumph, and Luton a massive 25/1 to leave victorious. As always, Edwards was optimistic about his side’s chances though, adding: “Our aim is to try and get some points. Our last eight games we've got two of the most difficult games you're going to get in the league at the moment, probably in world football with Arsenal away and (Manchester) City away.

"I don't want to sound negative, we all know how difficult those games are, but we'll give it everything. It's funny as I’m up there in the office and we’re deliberating stuff, trying to go through it all and I end up convincing myself we’re going to win the game, so I believe that we’re going to win. It’s a massive task and not many people are able to stop them at the moment, so we’re aware of the scale of the task.

"But we’ll try and do what we do, so when we get the chance we’ll try and press and be aggressive, of course they’re going to force us low so we’re going to have to be very resilient. We’re going to have to make sure we track, deal with their combinations in the wide areas, deal with the crosses, they’re very good at that.

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"Then they can score in any kind of moment, whether it’s a counter attack, whether it’s from control, whether it’s from a set-piece, so we’ve got to be good in pretty much every aspect of the game if we’re going to stop them. We’ve got to be almost perfect, so we’ll try to be.”